May 4, 2009

Who and what has your team meetings hung up?

RARA A Meeting
Wizard's Approach
book
When I speak on moving meetings from boring to productive, I get lots of questions about how to handle various meeting problems due to groups of people or the behavior of one particular individual. I have written a few articles that explain how to handle the some common problems people seem to ask me about most. I have linked to some of those articles in this posting.
In my book R.A!R.A! A Meeting Wizard's Approach, I talk about the ways in which people can derail a meeting as various attributes or common phrases related to animals. I tell the reader the behaviors they might see, what the reasons behind the behaviors may be, and what might be done by others in the meeting to change the behaviors in both current and future meetings. Below, for your information, is the list of nine meeting beasts and a short definition adapted from my book.
  • Sly Fox is the person who tries to manipulate what others say as support for their own opinion or idea.
  • Timid Mouse is the person who sits quietly during the meeting without participating much in the team discussions without being prompted.
  • Sleeping Possums refers to those moments when prolonged silence falls upon the group.
  • Darting Deer is the person that comes late to meetings or goes in and out during the meeting timeframe.
  • Growling Bears are people who argue during a meeting and possibly stress out the other attendees.
  • Repeating Crow is the person who just keeps saying the same thing over and over during the course of the meeting.
  • Wise Owl is the expert who provides so many details that the meeting gets bogged down in information processing.
  • Rabbit Trails occur when meeting members jump around from subject to subject and get the meeting off-track.
  • Wolf Packs are pairs or a small group of people within the meeting who follow their own agenda rather the common agenda for the meeting.
You can learn to handle a few of these beastly problems by checking out the linked articles in this post. Another problem might be absenteeism due to potential attendees not recognizing the importance of the meeting. If you have a recurring beastly problem that I haven’t yet covered in an article, let me know and I might write an article or you can check-out my book for a quick answer. If you have an idea that I haven’t already presented, please share it in the comments section of this post so we can all learn from one another.
NOTE: If you are running a non-profit group using volunteer committees to do much of your work, check out the article Ideas to Generate Participation in Committees on the Free Management Library website.

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