...A Meeting Goes off Track
What to say when a meeting goes off track and you're having trouble getting back into the discussion. So here's the situation. You are leading a meeting and one of your coworkers, a talker, starts telling a story that is only peripherally relevant and, clearly, very long. What to say? Here's what your thinking, but shouldn't say. "I really hate meetings." Here's the solution. If you're running the meeting, it is your job to moderate the participants without hurting anyone's feelings. Here's what you could say. Use curiosity. "These are all good discussion points. "Do you think we should set up another meeting "to dig deeper into these topics?" Or generosity. "So it's clear we have a lot more "to discuss than I had planned. "Thank you for bringing it to my attention. "Let's stick to the agenda we laid out "and figure out a time to pick this back up, "if everyone thinks we need it." Or humility. "I'm so sorry, I've gotten a little bit "lost in this conversation. "Where are we on the agen...
da?" Now, this could come off as passive-aggressive if not delivered well. And I think humor could work here too. "So the downside of working on a team "that gets along and likes to talk with each other "is that meetings easily sidetrack. "Not a terrible downside if you ask me, "but we do need to get back to the agenda." So here's the overarching idea. Don't sit passively waiting and hoping that person will figure out what's going on and wrap up. You're running the meeting and you do need to be able to moderate people and keep everything on track, but diplomatically, an especially important skill to develop if you want to grow. Make sense?
It’s always important to know the right thing to say in various situations, but it’s particularly important at work. Getting tongue-tied or putting your foot in your mouth when speaking to a work colleague or superior could get you into trouble and impact your ability to thrive in your career.
So wouldn’t it be great if you had a virtual archive of precise language you can use in any professional situation? For example, what might you say when someone at work loses a loved one, when office politics get ugly or when a colleague isn’t pulling their weight?
Taught by Ilise Benun, an author and teacher known as the Marketing Mentor, this course provides you with concrete advice and guidance about how to handle a wide variety of situations and conversations. Using bite-sized videos that portray real-world situations, it will give you the tools you need to communicate clearly, appropriately and assertively at work.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Communicate with everyone in your professional arena, from bosses to direct reports, vendors to clients.
- Avoid miscommunication when possible and recover from it when you can’t.
- Go from people-pleaser to self-respecting professional.
- Know the right thing to say at the right moment.
- Take time to assess the situation before making your response.
- Know when to speak and when to stay quiet.
- Decide whether a written or a verbal response is more appropriate.