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: You need to help other participants challenge the received wisdom and support anyone who is feeling pressured to conform. Don’t forget that one of the most dangerous phrases in business is “We’ve always done things that way”. So, if you’re in a brainstorming or problem-solving meeting you should encourage freewheeling and creativity. It might […]
A: It’s usually best to ask everyone for a contribution, and you could mention that you would like to hear from those who haven’t spoken much (without naming names). If that doesn’t work, you could ask some of the less-talkative people directly for their input, especially if you’re expecting them to make a contribution on […]
A: It’s usually best to be fairly direct and say something like “Can we let [first speaker] finish, and then you can make your point”.
A: Ask everyone to focus on the outcome rather than personal issues, and to look for points of agreement rather than division. Also ask everyone to avoid using emotive words. If that doesn’t work then you could take time out and speak individually to those in conflict and try to find out the cause of […]
A: It’s important that any intervention is firm, but not aggressive – you don’t want to make things worse. However, you need to confront whoever is ignoring the agreed etiquette and not let it pass, otherwise everyone else will think that etiquette is optional. You should remind the meeting what has been agreed on etiquette […]
A: You should focus on the outcome and what you need from the meeting. It can be quite easy to drift from being firm and assertive into being pushy and aggressive. Try to avoid this and focus on what you can do together as a team. And whilst you want to remain friendly, try not […]
A: Follow these rules: Freewheel – get creative and think outside the box Suspend judgement – don’t evaluate any suggestion, being critical just slows the flow The more ideas the better, however wacky they are Capture every idea – make sure everyone can see all the ideas (this can be a bit tricky in a […]
A: You should test all the equipment shortly before the meeting (but with enough time to fix things if there are problems). It’s a good idea (even if the system is working properly) to ask everyone to wear headphones to minimise audio feedback and to mute their microphone except when making a point (especially in […]