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On Meetings with Difficult People

You're leading a meeting to move a project forward.

But there's one person in the group who is steering the conversation off course.

They're insisting on their ideas and opinions without considering alternative perspectives.

The meeting is feeling like an uphill struggle.

Other’s opinions aren’t being heard and energy levels are dipping.

What can you do to turn things around?

1. Set yourself up for success by clearly defining boundaries at the start of the meeting.

Set an agenda to give each person an opportunity to contribute. For example, “Thanks for joining the meeting, everyone. Here’s the agenda: First, each of us will have a minute to share their ideas regarding the campaign"

2. Validate. Acknowledge something positive about the person’s ideas. For example, "I like how you’ve considered X” or “I appreciate the attention to detail here"

3. Assertively move the meeting along. If things start to go south, clearly share that time is limited and encourage others to make contributions. For example, "Before we move onto the next stage, let’s hear from Jesse, Eva and Joe - what ideas do you have to share?"

What would you add?

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