Being the Loudest Person in the Room Doesn’t Make you the Leader
How I stood up to the bully
My teamwork forum nearly got railroaded by one obnoxious loudmouth.
Thankfully, I have a pet peeve. I can’t stand when the loudest person starts trying to take over the room.
As if having the loudest, most insistent voice is the quality that makes someone the natural leader of the group.
That pet peeve fuels me to take action.
I was in a semi-large teamwork forum once. There were exactly 100 participants.
The forum only had one rule. 100 people in, 100 people out, no matter what.
So in other words, teamwork was the top priority of the day.
The entire purpose was collaboration, even if it meant doing things differently from how you always did them in the past.
As happens with human nature, 2 people were late returning from lunch.
About 5 minutes late.
Naturally conversation erupted on how to handle the situation because we weren’t able to continue with our event until all 100 were present.
Immediately there was one very loud and demanding participant who got up on the speaker’s stage and began insisting we lock the doors and not let them in.
The rest of us were eager to move forward in the program, right? And damn it, if they were irresponsible and late from lunch, screw ‘em.
A few heads began to nod.
I think this audience member would have gone over and locked the doors herself if I hadn’t stood up to remind her and the rest of the group that we signed up for a teamwork seminar.
We only had one rule.
100 in, 100 out, no matter what.
That rule was the reason most people enrolled in the class.
Tired of flying solo all the time, we were eager to strengthen our teamwork skills.
After I broke the spell, a few more brave souls began to have a more diverse conversation, and a minute or two later, the late teammates raced in.
As it turns out, the “late” participants were a test to see if the group could maintain it’s commitment to teamwork.
We were about to fail our mission after a mere 3 minutes of being captivated by the loudest person in the room.
If I can do it, you can do it.
I doubt I’m alone in having the experience of being in a group and the agenda gets hijacked by the single loudest person.
If I can step up, you can too.
People call me an observer. I’m relatively small in stature. I don’t have a particularly commanding voice.
I’m an introvert at heart, but I can turn it on when needed.
People who don’t know me don’t realize I’m quick to fight for the underdog or stand up to a bully.
I don’t care if you’re the quietest person in the room, speak up when the meeting/group/team is going off the rails to comply with the loud person simply because they’re loud.
More than their just volume, it’s likely the certainty and aggressive manner they can have that mesmerizes the rest of the group.
It doesn’t take long for the rest of the room to go quiet while the loudest person starts calling the shots.
⭐️When the loud person interrupts other people, step in and let the group know you want to hear what other people have to say.
⭐️If the conversation starts going off topic, speak up and remind the group of the original purpose and mission of the meeting.
⭐️Speak clearly and directly. You don’t have to use apologies or excuses. Just speak politely but firmly.
⭐️Stand tall, take a deep breath and make eye contact with people.
We all have different communication styles. When you learn to decode a person’s style, you’re better equipped to communicate with them.
Some people naturally are going to be more forceful and direct than others.
There are 4 main styles. I won’t go into all that detail here.
Instead, and you can read about them in this recent post:
If The Quality Of Your Life Really Depends on The Quality of Your Communication You Need To Know…
“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” — Tony Robbins
Which role do you play in this post?
Are you the load mouth? Do you go along with the consensus to not make waves?
Whatever has been your habit, try leaning toward the opposite approach and see how your experience broadens.
Need more motivation for strength in quiet leadership? This is a great post by Gustavo Razzetti
As always, I wish you all the best!
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