Home Resources Meetings and Facilitation Stopping Bad Meeting Behavior
Stopping Bad Meeting Behavior PDF Print E-mail
Written by Norman Crouse   
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 06:23
Article Index
Stopping Bad Meeting Behavior
All Pages

Interventions for Bad Behavior in Meetings


Bad behavior in meetings can disrupt productivity and demotivate particiapants.  Here are four ways to intervene to stop unwelcome behavior.



The lowest level of intervention is "Subtle/Steering." With this level, you address neither a specific behavior nor a person. What you are doing is attempting to redirect the group's interaction and to actively model productive practices.

Here are situations and examples for the Subtle/Steering intervention level:

  • In the situation of a side-bar conversation, you may ask one of the people conferring off-topic a question, e.g., "Mike, do you want to add anything here?"
  • In the situation of over-analysis, you may briefly affirm the member who is over-analyzing and indicate that the group move forward with the agenda, e.g., "Cheryl, that's a good evaluation of the issues, why don't we move on to the next item."
  • In the situation of fault finding when one member is finding fault with another, you may break in and purposefully explore / identify the merit, e.g., "Jim, I'm intrigued by that point, can you explain it further for me?"

There is one serious pitfall to this level of intervention that few people anticipate. Facilitators often intend to gently guide the group with this level of intervention. However, group members sometimes perceive the gentle intention of the Subtle/Steering intervention as manipulative or passive aggressive. Because much of your action in with this level of intervention is "covert", this level does not help the group become self-facilitating.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 06:32
Copyright © 2014 Norman Crouse. All Rights Reserved.