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.

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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