- Me Me Me. This person comes into the meeting with their own agenda. They are keen to bring up topics that are perhaps only relevant to them specifically, often that are not in-keeping with the topic at hand. These types of people slow meetings down by changing the course of the conversation to the detriment of the aims and objectives set out previously. Rhetorical questions are also a go-to strategy for Me Me Me types.
- Captain Vague. Otherwise known as The Staller, these individuals shy away from details and specifics. When asked direct questions they become quite foggy with their answers and will often ‘get back to you on that’ or will hand the question over to someone else.
- So real. A helpful being, So Real wants facts, keeps superlatives to a minimum and is there to receive/share information only. Straight to the point, these individuals keep the conversation moving forward and often steer when things begin to fall off track.
- In body but not in mind. Looks like we’ve got a day-dreamer! There is always someone who is physically present in the meeting but isn’t actually contributing or participating in the conversation. When called upon for information directly, these often become either Captain Vague or my next candidate…
- Passive Aggressive. Similar to the Me Me Me type discussed earlier, Passive Aggressive does enjoy gaining attention but also likes to distract this away from themselves by passing comment and/or judgement on other’s contributions. Often on the defense, these characters give off an icy demeanor in the hopes of no-one digging too deeply in to their response. FUN.
- Anxious Al. An unfortunate soul, Anxious Al becomes more and more nervous as their turn to speak draws closer. Often these individuals have valid, helpful points…unfortunately they speak so fast you barely have time to write them down. Come on Al, get it together.
- Just one more thing. Everyone’s favourite person, the one who doesn’t know when to stop talking. The meeting is drawing to a close, there’s a shuffling of chairs and then Number 7 says those four words you could do without. Meetings are not (generally) a place to vent yet here we are, listening to another point that is either obvious, implicit and/or unnecessary. It’s okay, we’ve only been here two hours…
My advice is to be number three at all costs. Unfortunately there will always be these other types (and many more I’m sure) that create difficulties in meetings, however by staying So Real as much as possible you reduce the strain and help to ensure you can leave on time. Small victories.