This episode explores some techniques for facilitating meetings with stronger personalities or those that dominate the discussion too much.

Dominant people tend to

  • Hog the discussion
  • Be the first to speak speak
  • Often want to make sure they are heard at the expense of others

It’s the faciliator’s job to

  • Be a referee
  • Keep input balanced
  • Make sure all voices and perspectives are heard
  • Keep things moving so that the meeting doesn’t get bogged down or go in circles

I confront dominators by

  • Being courageous and assertive
  • Acknowledging the dominant person and then opening the floor to others
  • Blaming the agenda
  • Reminding the group that it’s important that all perspectives are heard and shared
  • Interrupting the dominator (if needed) to redirect the discussion

Other ways to handle people who regularly dominate the discussion

  • Talk to the person outside of the meeting and express your concerns
  • Be clear that you value their input and you will continue to moderate future conversations
  • It’s not personal, it’s just to make sure that we’re getting equal input and participation from the rest of the group
  • Ask them if they have ideas on how to make the meeting discussion more productive for everyone that will still honor their need to share
  • Ask them not to attend
  • Drop them from the meeting invite (this one could obviously have collateral damage and may not be advised)

Consequences of not confronting dominators

  • You’ll lose your roll as a strong facilitator
  • People may shutdown and check out
  • Participants may start multi-tasking and become disengaged
  • People you really need input from will stop coming to the meeting
  • Your meeting will narrow in perspetive and views
  • Less creative solutions may come from your meeting discussions
  • Things will probably get worse



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