Some employees naturally pipe up more often than others in meetings. They may be more social in general, or they may just be enthusiastic about their ideas. While these staff members can certainly contribute value to meetings, they can sometimes dominate the entire discussion. As a result, you miss out on hearing others’ viewpoints, ideas and concerns. 

It can be tricky approaching an especially talkative employee. You don’t want to squelch their enthusiasm or make them feel like their ideas aren’t wanted, but you also want to hear from other people. Karin Hurt, the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, says there are some ways you can encourage a more inclusive conversation. We share her ideas in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

  1. Have a straightforward conversation with the over-enthusiastic talker. It’s best to go directly to the employee so you can begin a caring conversation, Hurt says. She recommends asking the employee to help resolve the issue by taking some ownership about getting more people involved in the discussion. There’s a good chance this person has some influence and could use that influence to get others to speak up more.


  1. Reset team expectations. When one voice tends to outweigh all the others, it might be time for a reset. Reframe it with your team by saying you want other people to talk more in meetings – not that you want one person to talk less. The idea is to give everyone on your team a chance to share what’s on their mind. Hurt recommends inviting everyone to come to your next meeting with an idea on how they could make meetings more interactive.


  1. Embrace the power of chat. If you’re meeting virtually, take advantage of the chat feature. Before you ask a question, Hurt says you could make it clear you want everyone’s input. She says you could also leverage technology tools to facilitate equal participation, especially in bigger meetings or remote settings. Remember to celebrate everyone’s contributions, Hurt adds, regardless of the size or impact of their ideas.


If someone on your team tends to take over meetings and leaves little room for others to join the discussion, consider the points above. When you take the right approach, you can encourage more collaborative conversations and create more room for everyone to have a voice.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation and achieve breakthrough results. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders.