Nerd, Know-it-all and Negative Nellie: Who’s in your Meeting?

No one will argue that meetings can suck up valuable work time. Even worse when that one person keeps going around and around on the same old point, stalling forward movement and bringing the team down. One statistic states that 10 per cent of people cause 75 per cent of meeting headaches. Seem true to you?

“Meetings are like a classroom,” says Wendy Sears of Lewis & Sears Marketing & Event Management. “You have your pushy kids, your smart kids and those at the back who just want to hide.”

We at Douglas have names for them.

That smarty-pants is The Maverick — the independent thinker who likes to do things his or her own way and may charge ahead without thinking of the team’s best interests.

The Non-Player — self-explanatory — still needs to be consulted to ensure his ideas are heard.

Negative Nellie grumbles about how your ideas are never going to work; she needs to be instructed ahead of time that while her opinion is valuable, her points should be constructive and not merely critical.

The Visionary is your ideas person and should be encouraged to work with your Team Player to properly think through and then action projects.

And you just have to tell The Late Guy that you’re no longer prepared to stop the meeting and bring him up to speed every time he walks through the door five minutes after you’ve started; he’ll have to ask Nellie for her notes.

One way to prevent people from butting heads is to structure the meeting tightly time-wise. Can you hammer through your agenda in half an hour? When conflict occurs, rather than engaging in an I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong ego battle, ask your team to keep their focus on outcomes that serve the company vision.