How To Wrest Control Of Meetings Dominated By One Person

Image: Josef Jerabek / Flickr

You never want a meeting dominated by a single person. Sure, it's important someone takes charge to guide the discussion. But the point of a meeting is collaboration and if there's no exchange of ideas, no criticism, then something's gone wrong. However, all it takes is the right words and tone if you need to interject, without coming off as impolite.

As freelance writer Kat Boogaard explains over on The Muse, you can go into troublesome meetings armed with some key phrases.

When you find one person has the conversation in a death grip, you can try one of the following lines (or a variation of):

1. “I Have Something to Add”
2. “Let’s Stop for a Minute”
3. “I’m Curious to Hear What [Name] Thinks About This”

Boogaard correctly points out that when we want to add something to a conversation or interrupt, we almost always ask for permission or apologise beforehand. This passive approach makes it easier for conversation hogs to decline and continue or simply ignore you.

On the other hand, if you use one of the above statements, you're making an attempt to take control, rather than asking for it.

You're best off trying the first option and if that fails, maybe the third. The second is the most assertive, so make sure the situation is right before cracking it out.

3 Phrases to Help You Deal With the Office 'Chatterbox' [Inc.]


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