• Tara Humphrey

6 top tips to effectively manage negativity in a meeting

Updated: Nov 7, 2018

Have you ever been to a meeting and sat next to the most negative person in the room?

You know……  that sort of person when no matter what was said, they had been there and done that, and whatever was suggested, they could think of a reason why it wouldn't work.

Now in the past, when confronted with this situation, I would have either got really frustrated or retreated, but over the years I have developed some tactics to move the conversation on without the negativity of others getting to me.

  Here are my 6 top tips to deal with negativity in a meeting.

1. Listen and acknowledge the person. No one wants to feel ignored, and whether we like it or not, there is often an element of truth to what is being said.

2. Positively sympathise. I get that those with 10, 20 or even more years experience in their roles have seen a constant recycling of ideas which may not have got the results which they had hoped for.

3. Invite others  to contribute to the discussion to move the focus

4. Manage the time. And use the old….” I’m conscious of the time so we will need to move on.”

5. Make a joke of it to defuse any tension ( where appropriate and if you know each other well)

6. Read the room and assess the energy. You should be able to get a sense of when to:

  • Completely shut down the discussion

  •  Invite other opinions to the discussion

  • Ask the person or people in question to carry on this discussion outside of the meeting

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