Is there someone on your team who often disrupts the meeting? They hijack the agenda for their personal goals at the expense of the team?
When we give up the agenda and allow disruptive behavior to play out, we show support for that behavior. By doing nothing, we give permission to the disrupter to grab our precious time and use it at their will. When we care about ourselves and how we spend time; we stand up for how our time is spent.
Depending on the situation you might ask the following to get things back on track:
- “Will this help us achieve the purpose of this meeting?”,
- “Does this benefit everyone at the table?”,
- “What do you propose?”
- “What is your need?”
- “I suggest a special meeting to address your concern; this topic will distract us from our purpose here.”
It is important to genuinely care about people and communicate in a respectful way. But it must be clear to everyone that the purpose of your interruption is to carry out the work of the team and it is not a personal attack.