Is a Magpie Monopolizing Your Meetings?
If one person is chirping in too much, try the round-robin technique
Workplace meetings are a fact of life in most workplaces, especially video meetings over the last year due to the pandemic. Often in meetings, there is one larger-than-life personality who will try to monopolize the conversation.
During these meetings, whether in person or via video, it’s important to make sure everyone feels engaged. If one or two people are allowed to dominate the discussion, others may feel invisible or view their perspectives as less valuable. Decisions just aren’t as well informed when diversity of opinions and ideas is stifled.
So how do you manage a monopolizer during your next meeting? Try the round-robin technique. This works best in small groups of up to 10 people.
The team leader announces at the outset of the meeting that everyone will be invited to speak. Impose a clear time limit—one to two minutes, for example. Put the big talkers at the end of the list, and don’t allow interruptions. Let people know there will be a chance for group discussion after everyone has spoken.
Use this technique selectively, as not every topic requires endless input. It’s also fine to introduce the round robin mid-meeting as a way to regain control of the conversation.
Round-robin meetings will condition the team to develop a culture of inclusive conversation, and that can be the spark for a more productive working relationship overall.