Preventing and Solving Meeting Disruptions


Quick Summary
Screenshot Suggestions for handling those "impossible" people who continually disrupt, derail, and detract from meetings.


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What this is

This document provides suggestions for handling those "impossible" people who continually disrupt, derail, and detract from meetings.


Why it's useful

Inconsiderate behavior or overeager participants can severely disrupt a meeting, interfering with pace, energy level, positive atmosphere, and issue resolution. Often what is needed is simply to coach participants on the most effective way to participate. Meeting facilitators can accomplish this during the meeting, providing they know how to handle the situation. This document provides ideas and suggestions for handling the most common kinds of meeting disrupters without dragging the meeting off-track.


How to use it

Assign a meeting facilitator to help keep the meeting on track.

If possible, the facilitator should NOT be the same person as the meeting leader - assigning separate roles allows the meeting leader (the person who called the meeting) to concentrate on content, while the facilitator channels the energy of the group and manages the meeting processes.

The meeting facilitator uses common sense, tact, and the power of the agenda and meeting objectives to manage obstacles and keep the group working together toward their goals.

Key things to remember when dealing with meeting disruptions:

  • Praise in public, criticize in private.
  • Deal with problems quickly, directly, diplomatically.
  • Watch your tone of voice!
  • Adjourn the meeting and reconvene if needed.

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