You are in a meeting with an objective of taking stock of the progress and making a few decisions about the journey ahead. A participant speaks at length, labours a point to highlight his or her expertise and goes to unnecessary details that add negligible value to the meeting. The long-winding monologue of the person cuts short the time at hand for you. How do you deal with such a loud person?
It is rude to interrupt a person, more so if he or she enjoys power or goodwill. Sometimes, power bestowed on a person is not due to the position or authority; it could be due to a track record of performance or knowledge on the subject or could hold the key to your success in some way. So, you might be willing to tolerate the loudness of the person to an extent. It is important to be aware of the situation and be tactical accordingly.
Laying ground rules for a conversation right in the beginning is a good practice. For example, time limits for each speaker, the order in which people speak, circulating the supporting material for the discussion can be set well in advance. The host of the meeting plays an important role in ensuring that people focus on facts and opinions rather than indulge in self-aggrandizement. One has to be skillful in interrupting the speaker, summarising the point and invite counter-points if any.
The reporting senior has the responsibility of giving a feedback to the person about his or her style in conversations and making necessary changes. Sometimes, peers can provide valuable feedback to the person so that the individual can consciously make changes to his or her style.
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