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8 characters you’ll encounter during your meetings – and how to deal with them.

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By Bert Bleyen

Head of Talent Development at ORMIT Belgium

Hereunder you’ll find a list of 8 characters you’ve probably already encountered during a meeting, and how to properly deal with them the next time.

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On average, people spend between 35% and 50% of their time in meetings, whereas only half of those meetings is considered effective. People talk too much or not enough and at the end no decision is made. Do you recognize this? Hereunder you’ll find a list of 8 characters you’ve probably already encountered during a meeting, and how to properly deal with them the next time.

Type

Characteristics

Consequences

Possible approach

 The “dominant participant”

 Has a lot to tell

 Hampers others to give their expressions and opinions

 Restrict his contribution without shutting him down. Ask him to be brief and concise in  formulation

 The “yes-nodder”

 Sees value in all the opinions/subjects

 Agrees with all opinions in the conversation. Has no recognizable contribution to a policy

 Ask him first to give his opinion on simple points, appreciate his vision and link his name to the proposition

 The “silent person”

 Finds it hard to express his opinion

 His behaviour could also mean passive resistance

 Involve him personally with a question. Confirm or congratulate him with this reaction

 The “nagger”

 Suggests his own ideas are the best but considers himself as the only one who notices this

 Always repeats or continues his opinion  until the end of a meeting

 Make a brief summary, make a note and ask the other meeting participants to involve his view in their opinion making

 The “vice-president”

 Takes the lead in summarizing and regulating the process of the meeting

 Plays the boss. Wants to increase the quality of the meeting

 Thank him for the care, but take/give back the lead when you are the chairman/member of the meeting

 The “hollow tell-tale”

 Talks a lot but says nothing

 Slows down the meeting or brings in irrelevant topics and issues

 Let him speak out once, then ask him to be short and to the point because of the goal of the meeting

 The “opponent”

 He disagrees, especially at the end of the meeting, with the decision.  His arguments are not always relevant

 Negative impact on the meeting-progress and -atmosphere

 Make a brief summary about the decisions. Involve him directly with each decision and offer him space to react directly by any decision.

 The “humourist”

 Places jokes and funny anecdotes, repeats them and tries to be humorous during every break

 His behaviour is distracting and obstructive, but also relaxing and refreshing.

 Slow him down and give feedback on the obstructive effect or praise him for the refreshing effect.

 

Read more about this topic in ‘Click: the virtual meetings book' by Michael Wilkinson -  This book is smartly structured and offers no-nonsense insights, techniques and tips to get the most out of your virtual meetings and become a meeting master.