A: Bullying should not be tolerated, so all the other participants should be prepared to intervene to support the person being bullied and to rebuke the manager doing the bullying. If the manager is more senior to all the other attendees, you should still be prepared to point out that the bullying behaviour is not […]
A: The first point is that if you ignore someone’s feelings, you’re likely to make things worse. And although an obvious response might be to call for a time-out, this might not be the best solution. You need to recognise what sort of emotions have surfaced: happiness or sadness, anxiety or excitement, fear or confidence, […]
A: Here are a few points that are worth noting: Cultural differences are many-layered, from the superficial to people’s deepest assumptions and attitudes Different cultures can mean different attitudes to people, relationships, language, time, achievement and the environment – almost all the things that can affect meetings! Understanding cultural differences is the first and most […]
A: If someone takes too long to make their point, it’s usually best to be fairly direct and say something like “That’s really interesting, but can you summarise so we discuss the implications?” or “OK, I understand, let’s see if anyone else has an opinion on this” or “That’s great, what does everyone else think?”. […]
A: You need to confront this behaviour and try to find out WHY someone appears to be malicious – they might not be aware that this is the effect of their behaviour. If this doesn’t work, you may need to ask the person to leave, or suggest that to the chair. You may even need […]
A: A ‘talking stick’ (or other similar token) can be a useful tool – only the person holding the ‘talking stick’ is permitted to speak. If you are trying to establish a new meeting group, this can be a technique that works well, at least for a while. You will probably find that the usefulness […]
A: For in-person meetings room layout can be very important, particularly for larger meetings. One of the critical factors is the seating arrangement. A circular arrangement conveys an impression of equality amongst the participants. Having a lectern or desk in front of rows of seats confers power onto the person occupying it. To a lesser […]
A: Understanding cultural differences is the first, and probably most important, step in avoiding potential conflict. The chair will need to respect any cultural differences and have empathy for the various cultures represented.
A: Usually the best way to deal with a contentious issue is to confront the problem and not avoid it. This can be difficult and uncomfortable, and one of the main will be the feelings of those involved. So, you may need to confront risky interpersonal issues and doing this effectively is a skill most […]
A: This can be a problem, particularly if there are no agreed ground rules for the meeting. The chair is nominally the person who should run the meeting. If the chair seems unwilling and/or unable to control the meeting when a third party tries to take control, it is the responsibility of the other attendees […]
A: Depending on the group’s culture (and any formal protocols), the other participants could agree to appoint someone else to chair the meeting in the meantime.
A: You need to explain this right at the outset. It will help if you can explain why the subject is private / sensitive and, if you can, let people know when it can be discussed publicly (for example, after an official announcement has been made).