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I’ve been a very naughty girl.

And guess what? You’ve been just as bad!

From texting to interrupting to making jokes, I learned during a session at last week’s PRSA Western District Conference that we’ve all been guilty of bad behavior – and have to deal with bad behavior – in meetings.

Which Naughty Nancy are you? Be honest:

  • Monopolizer/Narcissist
      • Love your ideas so much you simply cannot let anyone else get a word in edgewise?
  • Complainer/Cynic
    • Always the first to note how something won’t work without offering reasons why or alternative ideas?
  • Attacker
    • Cannot contain your thoughts that everyone else in the meeting is dumb and needs to be told so whenever they open their mouths?
  • Joker
    • Can’t stop trying to make people laugh, even when important work is being discussed?
  • Uninterested Non-Talker
    • Is Facebook calling? Is the meeting boring you? Do you have ADD?
  • Shy Non-Talker
    • Never been the one to speak your mind? Have trouble verbalizing yourself in group settings?
  • Fearful Non-Talker
    • Scared of the voices in your head telling you that your ideas are dumb? Or scared of the attackers in the room?

I, personally, am guilty of being a “monopolizing joker” from time to time. I’ve also had to deal with all of the above in meetings, and not always effectively. As such, here are some tips on how to lead groups with any of the above baddies.

  • Monopolizer/Narcissist
    • Quickly interrupt – Thank for idea – Refocus on someone else – Come back with additional duties or work for the person
  • Complainer/Cynic
    • Call him/her on it – Ask “what do you think should be done instead?” – Re-direct back to the topic at hand
  • Attacker
    • Rephrase words to soften the attack – Refocus on issue, not person being attacked – Turn comment to positive with “I believe what <insert name here> was trying to say was…”
  • Joker
    • Remind the person you are all here for business and this is not the place for that behavior
  • Uninterested Non-Talker
    • Try to make subject relevant to the person – Ask directly about past history person may have with subject
  • Shy Non-Talker
    • Direct questions toward person that you know he/she knows the answer to – Slowly draw the person in without making them feel like they are being directly targeted
  • Fearful Non-Talker
    • Gain person’s trust by asking questions – Offer supportive nonverbal cues – Be aware of potential bullies in the group and proactively protect

 

 

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

2 Comments

  1. I’m going to have to pay more attention to this. I wouldn’t want to be mislabeled.

  2. Interesting list – I would say I’m guilty of being the “joker”. I like your pointers too, very helpful. It’s kind of funny that the hardest time I have is with other “joker”s.

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