While meetings and brainstorming sessions can generate great results, it takes only one bad seed with a negative personality to turn these sessions unpleasant and unproductive. Here are the most common of the negative personalities, according to a new book, SmartStorming.
- Attention Vampires. They always want to stand out, be in the spotlight and be the center of attention. They can smother a brainstorming session by dominating the conversation, excessively pushing their ideas and sucking the life out of the whole group.
- Idea Assassins. They love to shoot down ideas … anyone’s and everyone’s. Under the pretense of being constructive, they find flaws, poke holes and pick apart promising ideas—yet they offer few unique thoughts of their own.
- Dictators. These totalitarians feel they are the only ones with good ideas. Everyone else’s contributions need to conform to theirs or risk being shot down. Managers sometimes unknowingly become Dictators in brainstorming sessions, not on purpose but because they try too hard to control the process.
- Obstructionists. They over complicate conversations and bring up extraneous facts or considerations that derail the flow of the group. Obstructionists overthink, over-speak and dead-end otherwise promising sessions.
- Social Loafers. These people rarely participate in the generation of new ideas or contribute much of substance. They usually sit back and let others do the heavy lifting.
So what do we do now? Use the suggestions in the post How to Motivate Creative Thinking in the Workplace to combat and tame these meeting killers. I am not saying it will be easy. But, it can be done.
Until Next Time, Be Audit-Secure!