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How To Handle Dominators

They are aggressive and hijack your meetings. They are negative and don’t let others speak.

Who are they?

Some call them “Meeting Bullies”.

And some, “Dominators

I bet you have them in your meetings too.

Thankfully, Scrum Masters are highly skilled in managing dominators.

How do they do that?

They…

  1. Thank the dominator and say, “Lee, that’s an interesting idea. Let’s see what others have to say”
  2. Reiterate, write their ideas visibly, then invite others to add to that list. They say, “Lee, great idea! Let me write it down. So that’s suggestion A. Suggestion B anyone?”
  3. Don’t ask for a verbal response. Instead, they hand everyone stickies to jot ideas, which later everyone shares, in a “Round Robin”.
  4. Call people, they haven’t heard from. They say, “Pat, what are your thoughts?”
  5. Break the larger group into pairs, engaging everyone, before discussing it as a larger group.
  6. Use a beach ball to focus the discussion. Only the one holding the beach ball can speak
  7. In a quick 1:1 with the dominator, they say, “Good points Lee! I now hope to involve others for their input. Some people in the group will hold back, if not given a chance. Do I have your support?”

Scrum Masters.

If you don’t have one?

Then get one!

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Vibhor Chandel

Vibhor Chandel

Executive Agile Leadership Coach. I deconstruct being successful with Agile. @VibhorChandel on Twitter