Every meeting is a challenge for the start-up team leader. Not only are you trying to nudge the business forward with inputs from employees, but you’re also dealing with their different personalities.
As the leader, you shouldn’t just be interested in the ideas, but also in the interaction of your team members, from which the good ideas come out. With that, here are the common types of personalities that emerge in meetings—and how you can manage them for better discussion flow:
The Clever Lurkers
These are the quiet types, who are very good at processing things but never really get the urge of speaking out. But when they do, they offer valuable insights because they’re the most observant of things.
One way you can bring out those precious inputs from them is to give employees notice of the matters you’ll be talking about in the meeting. Pay attention to your environment, too. As mentioned, lurkers are very observant, and they could easily get distracted by what’s going on in your physical space. Try booking a meeting space in Doral. Less distraction, more focus.
The Talk Tyrants
These are the people you won’t have to single out just to make them speak. Without much prompting, they will freely share what’s on their mind. The challenge with these team members is they tend to monopolize the conversation.
One way to manage this is to frame questions with a qualifier. For example, you can say, “Can someone who hasn’t spoken yet share insights on this matter?” Another way is to let them use their assertive energy to other forms of participation, say, in taking down notes. But of course, acknowledging them for good ideas is still important.
The Friendly Agreer
They are your employees who avoid conflicts at all costs by agreeing to almost everything brought to the table. It’s good that you have “cheerers” in the meeting room, but this atmosphere they’re creating could also lead to group think. Of course, the talk tyrants can do the disagreeing, but you can challenge these friendly agreers to challenge ideas themselves.
When an idea they seem to agree with is raised, ask them to offer an alternative or let them identify possible issues they might encounter with the idea. With this, you’re not just improving the quality of your conversations by prompting people to delve deeper into ideas, but also train these agreers to put forward their own ideas.
Meetings are part of the start-up life. Manage different personalities in meetings better to make your sessions more productive.