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Management article
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Reference no. C0504B
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Management Communication Letter", 2005

Abstract

There''s one or two in every meeting: People who constantly talk or glower in the corner. People who criticize every idea raised or harp on the same theme no matter what''s being discussed. These people not only make meetings unpleasant, but they also make them unproductive. And so the question is: How do you get these troublemakers to behave? When you''re facilitating a meeting, the pressure is on to make sure people stay focused and on topic. After all, the decisions made are your responsibility, which makes things that much harder when you''re up against someone difficult. Keeping a meeting on track requires a few parts discipline, a few parts organization, and a dollop of courage. But take heart: There are steps you can take before the meeting begins and tactics you can apply during the meeting itself to ensure they run smoothly and successfully.

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Abstract

There''s one or two in every meeting: People who constantly talk or glower in the corner. People who criticize every idea raised or harp on the same theme no matter what''s being discussed. These people not only make meetings unpleasant, but they also make them unproductive. And so the question is: How do you get these troublemakers to behave? When you''re facilitating a meeting, the pressure is on to make sure people stay focused and on topic. After all, the decisions made are your responsibility, which makes things that much harder when you''re up against someone difficult. Keeping a meeting on track requires a few parts discipline, a few parts organization, and a dollop of courage. But take heart: There are steps you can take before the meeting begins and tactics you can apply during the meeting itself to ensure they run smoothly and successfully.

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