We’ve all been there: at a meeting where one person speaks a disproportionate amount compared to the other members of the group. They ask for clarifications, add commentary on almost every item, pose questions and restate what others have said. It’s well-intentioned, but it effectively nullifies their voice.

Groups would be well served if regular meetings had participation-trackers like at the debates, providing real-time summaries of who has spoken the most minutes. Maybe this visual would help people moderate their comments so they only contribute when they have new and relevant insights to add or to ask questions that could not have been clarified in advance. If nothing else, it could prompt a discussion on norms and ground rules for the meeting.

When you speak too much, you are heard too little. Save your words for what really matters.

 

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