Tips, Videos, Handouts, and Other Stuff

How to handle the person who talks too much – Validate and hear from others

A common complaint about meetings is that one or two people talk too much and dominate the conversation. Not only does this make others feel resentful and unfulfilled, it can be very unproductive and inefficient for the group as a whole. It’s unproductive because the best ideas may not have found room to be shared or because the group got diverted off topic, and it’s inefficient because the whole group spends time going over and over the same ground or serving the interests of a single person.

As a meeting facilitator or group leader, how can you fix this? Validate what the person is saying and then make it about wanting to hear from others.

Check out the video for an explanation and a little demonstration.

If you have other techniques to share, please comment below!

How to help your meeting – Responsibility for Attitude

Inspired by a sign outside a meeting room I shot this Good Group Video Tip on site at a corporate headquarters.

One’s personal attitude and energy can have a huge impact on a meeting. A group can do many things perfectly – good agenda, good facilitation, shared information, right people at the table – but if just one or two people have unhelpful attitudes it can prevent the group from making good decisions. On the other hand, a few really great attitudes can elevate a group to new heights.

In the video I mention unhelpful attitudes like “I know best” and “certain people unworthy.” Other attitudes that are unhelpful for group decision making include “closed-mindedness,” “nothing good will come from this,” and “I don’t need to pay attention.”

Helpful attitudes mentioned in the video include “open-mindedness,” “humility,” and “positive belief that the group can make a good decision.” Other helpful attitudes include “group interests over individual interests,” “assume best intentions,” and “honor the group process.”

I have written many Good Group Tips about attitude and they are all organized in a single list here.


How to prevent conflict – Build Shared Understanding

Since 90% of all conflicts are the result of misunderstanding, Craig explains how to build shared understanding in order to prevent conflict. He stresses how “expectations are planned resentments” and the value of making sure that expectations are matched.

See also these related Good Group Tips: Understanding first, Assumptions lead to trouble, Resentments have roots in expectations, Start with a question.