Meeting: Who sits around the Table?

I have, and still am, attending many meetings and workshops where I observe that there are different
personalities and interest groups that govern the behaviours and quality outcome of the gatherings.

Assuming that the Agenda and all other meeting requirements are in place, the quality of the outcome of the Meeting would be determined by the knowledge, preparedness, deliveries and articulation skills of the participants, degree of participations, the wisdom and guidance of the Chairperson,

I will broadly classify, according to my definitions, the type of personalities, that are normally present in any Meeting:

1) The Hard headed (or bulldozer): They are vocal and determined that others should listen to them, and agreeing with them. When others speak, they would "jump" in with their views, to interrupt the speaker. Oh, how nasty, demeaning and disrespectful this can be. They are of the opinion that their views are always right or "the best". They would deem others who do not align with them as "not-knowing or wrong". They could also get "personal" with negative emotions locked-in.

2) The Cool and Wise headed: These are people who would speak at the right time and right moment. They would respect the views of others. Their views and articulation would be based on their experience, facts and figures. They would be ready to receive the views of others.

3) The "Experts": Foolishness reigns in the hearts with these self-claimed experts. They share their views vigorously but also, take upon themselves, to reply on behalf of others who were supposed to response to questions posed. They like to be seen as "I know all" and "you listen".

4) The Hearers: These are the spectators who would occasionally smile and nod their heads in agreement. They normally would not have their own views. They are contented to be present and "show" their presence in support. In all likelihood, they would go along with the majority when decisions are to be made.

5) The Mumblers: During coffee-break or after a meeting, these silent spectators, would turn experts and vocal. They could be heard expressing their views among themselves. The views normally expressed would be more destructive than constructive. These are the "interlude or after meeting experts".

6) The Indifference: They would do their own "things" in an on-going meeting. Their minds wander. They would be reading/sending messages from their mobile phones, periodically walking out of the meeting room etc ... or in short, "mindfully absent". Their conscience taken care of as "they were present in the meeting". They are "here to mark their attendance"!

Thus, as a Chairperson to any meeting, the Chair must take cognizant of the different personalities around the discussion table. He or she must make all conscious and intelligent effort to "rope" all into active discussions. This is indeed challenging.

A Chairperson must thus have the relevant experience, skill and knowledge to steer. guide and lead the Meeting according to the Agenda, otherwise, any potential Chair must learnt and acquire same.

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