InsideOffice News Archives About Us Feedback

Recent Articles

Employment Ethics: Responsibility Works
An infrequently discussed area of business management is employment ethics. As with most personnel management concepts, employment ethics is a two way street. Both the employer and the employee...

Marketers Still Missing Social Media Target
BIGResearch's latest simultaneous Media Usage Study raises a big flag for marketers and PR practitioners: you're operating in a new reality of a consumer controlled communication model. This is not the first time...

What Is It With These Recruiters?
I love recruiters, they form a very important niche in our economy, they call people, and they ask them if they would be interested in a job, but are they paying attention to what people want? I would at this point...

Social Media Kills The Press Release Star
A New Year is upon us and I think I'll start off the New Year with a rededication to the Social Media Release (SMR), the Social Media Club, and why the hell all of this will matter to marketing, communications and PR...

What Do You Know About Your Marketing Results?
My co-founder at HubSpot, Brian Halligan, posted an interesting article today on our partner blog titled "Advanced Internet Marketing: Turn The Pareto Principle On Its Head". Brian's spent his entire career in...

Small Business: More Zen
This is part two of a two part series, Zen and the art of small business. Read Part 1 Always have quality control over your own work or the work of your employees before going to the client. While you might trust your...

Be Careful When Writing Online
Because it could cost you your job and it's definitely true. These days, Google and the rest of the search engines (eg. Live, Yahoo!, Ask and so on) have become the central location where everyone can find...


Low Rate eCommerce & Retail Plans
02.22.07


Identify The Culprits That Threaten Productive Meetings

By Craig Harrison

In the Star Wars movie's famous bar scene you knew, by appearance, what zany character was sitting beside you.

Each character had a distinctive look. Yet in today's meetings you may have no idea the constellation of characters that you're meeting with. That's because their normal outward appearances belie often-troublesome behavior. Use this article as your guide to the crazy cast of characters you're likely to encounter in your meetings. Whether or not you're armed with a light saber, you'll nevertheless be equipped to do battle with these oft-destructive forces who subvert meetings with their bothersome behavior.

The Monopolizer: This person thinks he or she is the only one with wisdom on subjects. The monopolizer believes everyone else is there to hear him or her speak, and so they do, incessantly. They don't appreciate that meetings offer an opportunity to hear from many. They prattle on and on, arrogantly acting as though their ideas or beliefs are inherently more important than others. Sadly other people shy away from contributing, intimidated by the monopolizer's stranglehold on the meeting. When facilitators allow this it sends a message their rudeness is sanctioned. The facilitator or even other meeting participants should indicate an interest in hearing from others in the meeting, to remind the monopolizer that others can speak as well as listen.

The Tangent Talker: This person hijacks the topic of the group by taking discussions off on tangents - topics unrelated to the issue at hand. One minute you're on topic and the next minute you're in "left field" as your agenda topic has been taken to a tangent. Your meeting chair's ability to recognize and refocus is essential to a productive meeting. "Let's remember to confine ourselves to the topic at hand" is a good way to get back on track. Alternately saying, "Let's try to avoid tangents" also labels such behavior as contrary to the group's aims. As well, you can "park" extraneous items in a "parking lot" list where they're noted, if only to be addressed later.

Low Rate eCommerce & Retail Plans

The Devil's Advocate: Let's face it, there's one in every crowd and most meetings too. This person seems to relish taking the opposite tack. Whatever the argument being put forth, this person delights in taking an opposing view. It's sport for them, an exercise in opposition. The more unpopular the stance the more exciting their challenge. Often they begin by saying "just for the sake of argument...I believe the opposite is true...." While there's value in looking at issues from multiple points of view and avoiding groupthink, the Devil's Advocate applies their technique to every issue, every argument and every conversation. Hold on to your Agenda and get comfortable. This could take a while! A good chair can praise this person's ability to do this while simultaneously indicating its inappropriateness given time parameters or previously agreed issues.

Thy Cynic: The ultimate naysayer, this person has a Masters degree in negativity. Adroit at the phrase "it won't work" they are skilled at deflating and defeating whatever motion is in motion. "Can't be done." "They'll never buy it." "We tried it once and it was a failure." Their motto: just say no. Challenge these people to think like The Devil's Advocate and suppose for that things could work. Use the common conflict resolution tool of asking them to embrace the other side's view as if it were their own, and argue that side's position.

The Fence Sitter: Known for their paralysis by analysis, these characters are unable to make decisions. Despite being in a deliberative body, they are conflicted by multiple arguments, and can't "pull the trigger" when it's time to make a decision in a meeting. They provide fodder for the Devil's Advocate, the Cynic and other characters with their ambivalence. Whether they are afraid of being wrong, or of disagreeing with someone else, or just going on record, they are a meeting monster for their inability to move the action forward. Try to cajole them to action. Remind them they have a vote and were invited to use it. Ask them their opinions on matters to draw them out and get them on record.

Continue reading this article.


About the Author:
Professional speaker Craig Harrison builds credible, confident communicators and stellar sales and service organizations. For more resources surf his website www.ExpressionsOfExcellence.com. Craig can be reached at Excellence@craigspeaks.com or by phone: (510) 547-0664.

About InsideOffice
Expert advice for starting or growing your business plus valuable ideas on management techniques and business strategies. Your Personal Business Advisor.

InsideOffice is brought to you by:

WebProNews.com Jayde.com
MarketingNewz.com SalesNewz.com
CareerNewz.com InvestNewz.com
eCommNewz.com WebsiteNotes.com
AdvertisingDay.com ManagerNewz.com
SearchNewz.com CRMNewz.com

-- InsideOffice is an iEntry, Inc. publication --
iEntry, Inc. 2549 Richmond Rd. Lexington KY, 40509
2007 iEntry, Inc. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Legal

archives | advertising info | news headlines | free newsletters | comments/feedback | submit article


InsideOffice Home Page About Article Archive News Downloads WebProWorld Forums Jayde iEntry Advertise Contact WebProWorld Forum Your Personal Business Advisor