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: You should try some or all of the following: Speak to the chair before the meeting starts and explain that you are attending as a deputy and haven’t been briefed – and ask for any background information the chair thinks may be helpful to you During any introductions, explain the situation to everyone in […]
A: You should never be forced to promote ideas or actions that you feel are against your professional or ethical beliefs. It is a matter of professional integrity that may require some personal bravery to address. It’s probably best to have a discussion with your boss about this before the meeting.
A: It’s fine if you’re in a one-to-one meeting with your boss. If you’re in a team meeting with colleagues, it depends on the context – if change and new challenges are on the agenda it would be appropriate, but if it’s a routine progress meeting then it’s probably not the right forum for a […]
A: Don’t forget that the meeting is about networking, not the refreshments! The other attendees will be much more interested in what you bring to the conversation than in what you’re drinking. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for an alternative drink that’s more to your taste, you won’t be alone in that, or to decline […]
A: It’s usually best to play down your expertise. Obviously you should appear knowledgeable in your field, try to explain any specialist knowledge clearly and simply for the non-experts, and avoid using technical terms.
A: Some dos and don’ts: Do: support the chair; bring others back to the agenda topic if the discussion goes off track; bring people who haven’t said much into the discussion; focus on the important points; summarise the discussion at the (apparent) end of each topic; check agreement to the conclusions; and (periodically) remind others […]