Talks Too Much?
When someone dominates a discussion, the other participants
hold back their ideas. Team members get bored. Instead of coming up with
solutions that incorporate a wealth of diverse opinions, the team ends up
with a mediocre decision.
Here are some suggestions for dealing with participants who
talk too much:
- Avoid discouraging the excessive talker. Instead, encourage the others
to participate more.
- Go around the group, giving each participant a turn to talk.
- Divide the group into pairs for preliminary sharing of ideas. Then
ask each pair to give a summary report of their discussion.
- Impose air-time limits on participants. Give the participants
equal number of poker chips, each worth 30 seconds of talking time.
- Interrupt the person with a question directed to someone else.
- Acknowledge the comment and involve others: "Al, that was an interesting
insight. Barbara, what are your views on this issue?"
- Before the meeting or during a break, enlist the help of the excessive
talker in encouraging the silent participants to open up.
- At the start of the meeting, establish equal participation by all
members as a team goal. Encourage the participants to help monitor and
manage personal participation.