3 Ways to Redirect a Meeting Monopolizer

Ever had one person talk and talk and TALK in a meeting and either repeat what she says over and over and OVER, or talks around the subject?  What a way to inspire the rest of the team  to “space out” or even want to “check out”!

Unfortunately, if no one helps the over talkers “bottom line” what they say, they will just keep on talking.  These are people who have trouble self assessing and usually aren’t in contact with whether anyone is paying attention or not.  They often are not even aware they engage in monologues, rather than give and take interactions with their peers.

How to Help Redirect a Meeting Monopolizer

To help people with these issues tactfully, the facilitator can gently redirect them, understanding these people have sensitive egos, tactfully.  Some ways facilitators have successfully redirected over talkers are:

  1.  When the person “takes a breath” ask her for clarification of a major point.
  2. Thank the person for sharing and remind him of the need to move on with the agenda.
  3. Thank the person for her ideas and then ask for the team’s input.

If the person also tends to cut people off when they are trying to make a salient point, the facilitator in a calm voice can say “excuse me, I need to hear the rest of what … was sharing”. After a short while, the person who was being cut off will generally feel comfortable enough to say the “excuse me, I wasn’t finished with what I was sharing” himself or herself.

What is important as a leader, however, is to address the issue quickly.  Otherwise the rest of the team will likely feel left out and even disrespected, which could eventually negatively impact the leader’s credibility.  Showing respect for all members of a team is paramount for building a healthy work environment.

Helen M. Thamm, APRN,CPC is a certified career success and wellness coach.  She is the author of the new manager’s success toolkit book:  How to Manage with a Magic Wand (No, Don’t Hit Your “Problem Employees” over the Head with it!) and co-author with Dr. John Ellis of the bestselling book: The Wellness Code.  Helen can be reached for questions at her educational website:  NurseCareerSuccess.com, email hidden; JavaScript is required or email hidden; JavaScript is required  You can follow her on Twitter.com/nursecareersucc

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