Some meetings have participants who dominate discussion. They speak first or forcefully and “hijack” the direction of subsequent contributions. Other participants may remain silent or focus on their reactions to the first individual. The breadth of possible comments may be lost. Possible new insights and creativity are lost. Fortunately, you can choose a structure for your…

Does this sound familiar? You are in a meeting where the discussion seems to be going on without building towards a conclusion. You are not sure whether all the participants are even following the exchange. To top this off, you are only a participant and not leading this meeting. You can’t intervene to “fix” the…

Structuring A Respectful Meeting In A Contentious Situation… Here are five tools that are particularly helpful in structuring a productive conversation when you expect conflicting views. You can plan to use most of these tools in advance of the session, but any of them can be implemented “in the moment” when a discussion threatens to…

Congress returns to Washington with the clear message that voters expect more efforts to work across the aisle.  We will go over the “fiscal cliff” unless members of both parties move from diatribe to dialogue. Dialogue is much more than debate.  Dialogue involves the development of shared meaning. But is this possible in today’s politically…

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