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Power Plays and Players Meetings Assertiveness Feedback Manipulation Who's In Charge?

One of my fellow managers is known for putting other managers on the spot when they run meetings. I was recently conducting a meeting, and he started asking questions that had nothing to do with the topic. When I answered, he asked more. When he finally stopped, he had sidetracked the meeting for a good fifteen minutes. How do you deal with someone like this?

Although he sidetracked your meeting for a good fifteen minutes, there was nothing good about this. In trying to satisfy his needs for attention and power, he wasted everyone’s time and delayed or even prevented other more important issues from being discussed.

While this manager is known for pulling this kind of stunt in meetings with fellow managers, it is time for you to be known as a manager who does not put up with this kind of fellow or stunt. Naturally, if a participant has questions that further the objectives of the meeting, you should address them, even if they pull you off of your agenda.

However, when questions are self-serving, it is your job as the meeting leader to show some leadership. By waiting for him to stop, you are actually rewarding his behavior. The next time he takes over at one of your meetings, you should field a couple of his questions, and if you are convinced they are part of his little game, tell him that you will address them after the meeting.

You are likely to see less of his inappropriate behavior if you stop rewarding it, and that could be quite rewarding for you.

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