These days, “meeting” is a dreaded word around the office. A recent study in The Salary Reporter found that 9 out of 10 workers prefer to interact in any other way than meetings, and 47% of employees say meetings are the #1 time-waster at the office. Meetings can be a great opportunity to share information with colleagues, build skills, motivate and give the team a chance to sound off. But even the most well-planned meetings can be a total loss if meeting personalities are not handled in an effective way. It’s common for meeting partners to assume certain roles in different meeting contexts, and unproductive meeting personalities are one of the main culprits for out-of-control meetings. Identifying and understanding meeting personality types can help you get workplace meetings back on track and improve overall productivity. It’s important to understand the motivation behind the various meeting roles to be able to handle them more effectively.
Text of Master Workplace Meetings by Identifying (And Dealing With) These 7 Classic Meeting Personas
7Master Workplace Meetings
BY IDENTIFYING (AND DEALING WITH) THESE
CLASSIC MEETING PERSONAS
These days,“meeting” is a dreadedword around the office.
9 out of 10 workers prefer to interact inany other way than meetings, and 47% ofemployees say meetings are the#1 time-waster at the office.
MANGO CLOCK SHOPS
Identifying and understanding meetingpersonality types can help you getworkplace meetings back on track andimprove overall productivity.It’s important to understand the motivationbehind the various meeting personas to beable to deal with them more effectively.
MANGO CLOCK SHOPS
THE HIJACKERBULLIES AND INTIMIDATES TO GET HIS WAY
PERSONALITY TRAITS:As the “bully” of the meeting, thehijacker always has be to right, andcan be hostile or intimidating to gethis way. He is out to further his ownpersonal agenda, regardless of theconsequences for the overall meeting.
STRATEGY:Challenge a hijacker directly, anddon’t let him bully others in themeeting. Ask what relevance aremark or rant has in the context ofthe formal agenda and address thehijacker by name to maintain control.
WANTS TO APPEAR TO KNOWEVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING
PERSONALITY TRAITS:The Princess is the know-it-all of thebunch; she appears to know more thananyone else about any given subject. As aninstant expert, Princesses manipulate theconversation to gain control of the meeting.
STRATEGY:Don’t challenge what Princesses are saying-- this can make it worse as they seek tojustify what they’ve already said. Encourageher to come out of her tower by inviting herto see alternative views, and nudge her tolisten to others’ perspectives too. A non-threatening response can help tame her“I’m smarter than you” attitude.
PERSONALITY TRAITS:The “talker” uses meaninglessbuzzwords and “businessspeak” to talk incessantly,whether or not she has the floor.Jargonmeisters like to hear the
THE JARGONMEISTERUSES COLORFUL BUZZWORDS
TO TALK INCESSANTLY
At the end of the day, weneed to brainstorm somebest practices to optimize thepipeline and establish thoughtleadership at the bottom of thefunnel. Does that make sense?
sound of their own voice and willuse jargon to navigate questionswhen they don’t know an answer.
STRATEGY:Reminding a “talker” that everyone needs to stick tothe agenda can help the meeting get back on track.Point out that others have ideas to contribute andshould have equal time to speak.
UNDERCUTS AND DISTRACTS OTHERSWITH SARCASM AND JOKES
PERSONALITY TRAITS:While humor can keep meetings frombecoming stuffy, the joker constantlydistracts others by making jokes,openly or under his breath. He usessarcasm to undercut the authority ofthe presenter, and make meetingsunproductive.
STRATEGY:Deal with a joker privately, as theyoften use humor to try to gain favorwith peers. If a joker is chastisedopenly in a meeting, this may causeserious embarrassment and moredeeply-seated frustration.
THE DEFLECTORKEEPS OUT OF CONVERSATION BY
DEFLECTING QUESTIONS TO OTHERS
PERSONALITY TRAITS:As the “avoider,” the deflector keepsout of the conversation by deflectingall questions to other workers. Hedoesn’t contribute to the meeting andsends conversation in circles.
STRATEGY:Be direct. Ask the deflector thequestion in a different way if he triesto ask someone else to respondinstead. Encourage the avoiderso that he feels more comfortablecontributing to the conversation.
That’s a great question, but Ithink Sally is more involvedin the project and couldprovide a better answer.
THE MULTITASKER FOCUSES ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN
WHAT IS BEING DISCUSSED IN THE MEETING
PERSONALITY TRAITS:The multitasker is constantly texting,typing and focused anything otherthan what is being discussed inthe meeting. They divide attentionbetween the meeting and otherdistractions, and frequently have toask others to repeat themselves whenasked a question directly.
STRATEGY:It is important to keep the multitaskerengaged so she listens throughout the meeting andcontributes. Call on multitaskers often and keep themon their toes to help decrease the amount of time theyspend focused on distractions.
Sorry I missedthat. Could yourepeat that?
PERSONALITY TRAITS:The timekeeper sits throughthe meeting without an audiblecontribution, even though heshould have something to say.The “non-player” is constantlywatching the clock and avoidsparticipating so he can get out ofthe room as fast as possible.
STRATEGY:Draw non-players out with direct,open-ended questions that theyare required to answer without asimple “yes” or “no.” Even if thereis silence, it is important to waitit out and force the timekeeper tocontribute to the meeting.
I just want to get backto my desk and look at
Facebook pictures of mysister’s roommate’s fiancé’snew cat. Can’t we just wrap
this up already?!
OUT OF THE ROOM AS FAST AS POSSIBLE
THE TIMEKEEPER DOESN’T CONTRIBUTE SO HE CAN GET
MANGO CLOCK SHOPS
To Master Workplace Meetings3TIPS
List specific goalsfor the meeting andstick to the plan.Guiding participantsback to the agendacan help tameout-of-controlpersonas when themeeting becomesunproductive.
2Use a WebCollaborationService
Web conferencing solutions likeMOMENTUM MEETING allow everyoneparticipating to see the same thing at thesame time. The meeting can be recorded,so participants that miss can see the samepresentation as their teammates later.
Meetings don’t have to take place inthe boardroom. Let participants engagein a way that works for them -- fromsmartphones to tablets and everything inbetween. Remote access allows everyoneto join regardless of location.