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Meetings Who's In Charge? Interrupting Know It All's Manipulation

I am in charge of a committee and one member gives me trouble when we have meetings. He takes over and cuts off conversations, forces the group to move to the next item on the agenda, and even puts issues up for a vote. These are my meetings and I resent this, and I have told him, but only after the meetings because I do not want to humiliate him. He occasionally apologizes, but does the same thing at the next meeting. What do you suggest?

You might not want to humiliate him by challenging his disruptive behavior, but the fact is that he is humiliating you. It is your job to run these meetings, and his actions imply that you are a figurehead at best.

Since you have spoken to him about this after the meetings and only received a hollow apology, you need a more forceful step. A true apology is an expression of regret, along with a commitment to avoid repeating the problematic behaviors. His words are a far cry from that.

If you do not take stronger action, he is only going to grab more and more of your role. The next time he hijacks your meeting, use a professional and businesslike tone and stop him on the spot. Tell him that there are still issues to review or clarify in the current discussion, and the discussion will close when you believe that such matters have been adequately covered.

Your next step will depend heavily on his reaction, but either way, if you are in charge, you need to take charge.

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