During staff meetings, one of my co-workers can’t seem to stop talking. “Megan” dominates every discussion with a detailed rehash of previous topics and an obsessive focus on minor details. Our manager allows her to ramble on without doing anything about it.Our last meeting ended an hour late after Megan resurrected several issues which had been settled the previous month. When I gently teased her about being long-winded, she reacted badly and didn’t take the hint. Although I like Megan, her endless jabbering makes me want to run screaming from the room. How can we get her to stop?- ST
I loved this column. As I have moved my way through the professional world, I have learned when I am attending meetings I despise small talk. I am always about getting down to business because I have learned we all have a million and one things to do and time is valuable. Therefore, when I facilitate a meeting, I always start with clearly stating, “I know we’re all busy, so let’s get down to it. If you could hold your questions to the last 15 minutes, that would be great.” I also set the agenda one week ahead of time. Allowing employees to comment on it prior to the meeting so they have time to really think about it -and then stick to the agenda. Without it, people will be focused on their problem throughout the meeting- and may derail it to get their point across.
An agenda helps tremendously. It’s like a check list of things to get through and many folks feel satisfied to check items off and to move on. How have you handled the chatter box in your office?