For example, you could use a speaking prop.Introduce the new process by saying:”We seem to have a lot of enthusiasm for this issue. His facilitation produces results that people will support.Use these techniques to regain control of your meeting. So, please let’s have one speaker at a time.Approach 2: Change the process If side conversations continue, change the rules to make cooperation more convenient.
It reduces stress and potential injury (if thrown).Approach 1: Ask for cooperation Start by asking everyone to cooperate. Look at the middle of the group (instead of at the talker) and say:”Excuse me (pause to gain everyone’s attention). Hostile statements, such as: ”Hey you! Stop that!” will create hard feelings that undermine your effectiveness as a leader. I’m having difficulty hearing what [contributing participant] is saying.A speaking prop is an object that entitles the holder to speak.””There seems foam sheets to be a great deal of interest for this issue.””Excuse me. Could we have just one speaker at a time?”These statements diplomatically acknowledge that a side conversation is occurring without naming the participants or putting them on the spot.
I know all of your ideas are important. So, let’s decide that only the person holding the gavel (cup, teddy bear, foam ball) may speak.If you are working on a controversial issue, select a soft object, such as a teddy bear or foam ball. Possible props include a gavel, paper cup, or toy. Is that okay?”Notice this statement begins with a complimentary acknowledgment of the situation (multiple conversations) followed by a suggestion and ends with a request for cooperation.
This is the second of a seven part article on Managing Monsters in Meetings. His innovative workshops have informed and inspired people nationwide.IAF Certified Professional Facilitator and author Steve Kaye works with leaders who want to hold effective meeting.Side conversations ruin meetings by destroying focus and fragmenting participation. When the person finishes speaking, the prop is passed on to the next person who wants to speak.