Most meetings generally start off more or less disciplined. But... once the discussion gets going, it can bring out the animals in us. And although mankind has been evolving for many a year, our colleagues' true nature is often unleashed in the heat of the moment. And that can be pretty tricky. An earlier blog already discussed King Kong; the colleague who presents his monologue from the ape rock and who won't take no for an answer. If you recognise this type, you'll know how to cope with this colleague. The same applies to the following meeting types.
Help! A dinosaur
Did you really think that dinosaurs were extinct? Just wait until you enjoy a meeting with this colleague, who's seen it all and is not open to suggestions. Bingo, the dino just came back to life! He'll bombard you with proposals, out of fear of change. The favourite dino sentence is: “We've always done it this way, why would we want to do it differently now?”
There was a good reason for real dinosaurs becoming extinct, because in order to survive, you MUST embrace change. You can get your dino colleague on board by clearly explaining the necessity of change. Is that not enough? Clearly explain the benefits of the change, showing him or her the advantages of cooperation. Better still: prevent dino behaviour by involving your colleague in the change process right from the start.
While a nitpicker may initially seem less threatening than a dino, nothing could be further from the truth. A nitpicker can seriously obstruct the meeting process, due to this meeting type requiring detailed information on every point on the agenda. Is that information not available? He'll find it, but not without a great deal of background noise. Generally speaking, it's fine if the nitpicker's daily job requires him to work with details, it's probably why your colleague is employed in that position. The best remedy for this meeting type's drivel? A strong chairperson who takes control and can silence the nitpicker when necessary.
Three other meeting types
There are three other meeting types besides the two already mentioned. Would you like to identify them in their natural habitat and know how to deal with them? Read all about them in our e-book titled 'The 7 new rules of new meetings'. This e-book contains a wealth of tips for effective meetings, based on 7 new rules of new meetings.