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HANDLING DISRUPTIVE

PARTICIPANTS
IN TEAM MEETINGS

DOMINATION
Set ground rules
Set up expectations that you want to balance
participation.
Develop an Agenda
Outline an agenda and set time for each item.
Appoint a timekeeper to help the group stay on track
during the meeting.
Listen
Oftentimes when folks dominate, its because they
dont feel heard. After they speak, quickly summarize
what you hear. Another way to show you hear what
they are saying is to write down a quick summary of
their input on poster paper.

DOMINATION
Ask for Input from Others
By asking something like do other people have an opinion
on this or who havent we heard from, you create a
space for others to participate.
Use subtle methods to quiet the dominant speaker
Use directed questions to someone else, stand near the
dominant speaker as a display of physical presence (this
technique displays authority) and use closed questions but
always be tactful
Evaluate the meeting:
As a group, take some time to evaluate your meeting and
mention this issue if you feel it is of concern.

LACK OF PARTICIPATION
Give each member a task
Ask for Inputs from Others
As a facilitator, use the room as your stage by
walk around freely, not being tied down to a
podium, using casual body language
Ask open questions to encourage discussions.
Stimulate conversation when ideas are
slowing down by paraphrasing questions,
using non-verbal cues to encourage response
Acknowledge everyone in the group

EXCESSIVE SERIOUSNESS
Crack jokes. Dont be afraid to have fun
Be warm and friendly
Do not become over possessive with the
power of leadership. Remember that your
team members are also co-workers and
friends
Use visual aids
Use breaks if required

FLIPPANCY
Regain leadership
- stand, dont sit, be visible to the entire group, use a
clear voice that can be heard by all, remind the group
of meeting objectives
Remain neutral
- dont antagonize or take sides, remain non-defensive
and avoid lecturing
If you are treated rudely, respond with kindness
and courtesy.
Simply ignore rude comments and don not
respond. Keep cool and give lukewarm response.

SIDE CONVERSATION
Walk around the room
Call the attention of the people whispering
and inform them to express it in the
meeting in a formal way
Focus on open, honest, and regular
communication. Whispering or simply
passing notes around are spread by people
who are not fully informed of what the
meeting is all about. Try by outlining your
expectations in the meeting.

EMOTIONAL OUTBURST
Slow yourself down.Do not intervene right
away until you areable to respond in a
responsible way without emotion. Breathslowly.
Take a deep breathe and release it slowly.
Be curious and compassionate to your own
emotions.Recognize that you are a learner here
as well. Identify how you arefeeling. You may
feel afraid, nervous, scrutinized, stressed. Boot
out the judgmental voice. No judgment allowed.
Name youremotions. Ask yourself what you are
angry about, or fear?

EMOTIONAL OUTBURST
Dont shy away from the conflict.When you sense conflict in
a group it may be the gift that will bring the group together. It is
agolden moment when the stakes are high and everyone
isengaged.
Break down the issue so that they are not one
dimensional.Often the person who is emotional is seeing the
issue from theirperspective but not in terms of how it affects other
people ordepartments. And the accused party may only be
focused ondefending their position and the needs of their
department. Useyour objectivity to list all of the issues.
Get curious and compassionate.Ask permission to ask
eachperson in the dynamic, When you got (feeling), what was
yourintent? The answer to this will be an eye opener for the
otherparty. They probably had no idea what the fears, anxieties
orconcerns really were on the other side.

EMOTIONAL OUTBURST
Ask each party, What did you hear when this
emotion wasexpressed?Most likely the response
will not be what theemotional person intended. People
are starting to realize that what is conveyed in an
emotional outburst is not always what wasintended. And
they deduce not to interpret emotional behavior atface
value.
Ask each party, What did you think was inferred
and do youactually understand now?The group
begins to see thatdefensive posturing and offensive
attacks dont lead toprogressive outcomes for the group
or for the individuals in thedynamic.