There's a problem in my management team. Every time we meet, one person is asking most of the attention.
He starts talking and we can't stop him. Once I checked how he talked non-stop 8 minutes! His communication is confusing: he doesn't seem to come to the right conclusion and is difficult to follow. He criticizes every input from colleagues but reformulates what they have been saying in order to make it ‘his’ idea.
The non-verbal expressions prove extreme irritation. Team members hide themselves
behind their laptop when he starts talking. A behavior I cannot approve, but I do understand.
I don't know how to make it discussable. Should I talk to him alone, or leave it to the team? I don't want to humiliate him, but he needs to get some honest feedback.
A concerned manager
Dear concerned manager,
Thank you for asking! It’s a frequently asked question so I’m delighted to share it.
First of all I would go for a general approach by defining a code of conduct with the team. That way you don't focus on ‘one’ particular person. Your team can draw up these rules themselves.
How? Ask for attitudes that can 'ruin' a meeting and turn them into positive ones.
Every meeting, you can ask the team how well they respected the rules. Your team will then be given the opportunity for feedback: either openly, or in writing, depending on the level of trust.
I suppose the problem of domination will come up, and that you can agree upon an action plan.
If the problem is not expressed, it is up to you to set up an individual feedback session about the impact of his attitude on the teams’ common interest: what is needed to function optimally? Make it clear that you expect a team member to behave according to the principles of artful participation: “is my behavior the most valuable contribution to the effectiveness of our collaboration?”
If all that doesn't help, I'm afraid you will have to take other decisions.
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