We all understand meetings are a reality of many businesses across all industries from WIPs to client meetings. It’s how we keep up to date with the company and helping those who need it. However, we all have that one person in our office that sits and stares, they will stare blankly into space for hours and hours. Here is a guide in knowing who’s who in your office.
Simply, they just Stare. They stare at the wall, ceiling, floor or even at the speaker. You can Identify this person if they have a glazed over face and don’t move or acknowledge any of the points with a nod. Though, I have noticed the people aware they are in fact a DNO will try and hide this fact with a simple nod during the meeting, when questioned afterwards they have absolutely no recollection.
The simple solution in avoiding an office DNO situation is to have an engaging speaker, someone who will see their audience and identify who needs attention, A speaker should be able to assess the situation and determine how the room is feeling if the material is engaging enough and if the content is relevant to them.
The social butterfly, putting this politely. They are the people talking during a meeting, whispering in the far back corner assuming your gaze does not strike their direction. They believe no one can hear the conversation about the latest office gossip or what they did on the weekend. This is the person you feel a powerful urge to let know, that no one cares about who feed the ducks on the weekend.
The best strategy when dealing with the social butterfly is to politely point them out to the group, not by verbally calling their name or pointing. Stop talking and look directly at them, now you have their attention, and everyone will know where you stand on such matters.
The steed-fast clock watcher, the person who always has somewhere to be and someone to see. They have a schedule so full that they cannot bear another minute in that room with you. This individual may be the most efficient person in your office, but they are also always looking at that watch of theirs, they will let you know very quickly if you go over time, or if you encroach on their personal time.
The most efficient stance to have with this individual is to understand they are watching the clock above your head; they are concerned you are wasting their time with this meeting. The solution is simple, remove the clock. Whenever you see them glance at their watch ask them a question, the aim is to keep them occupied and involved with the meeting just until the end.
This person looks like they are taking notes, but if you look at their pad, you will notice they are just doodling, drawing pictures of flowers, dogs or caricatures of you. They have an abundant amount of creative energy and need constant stimulation. They must have something to do. They cannot just sit still.
The solution! Stimulate them, give them a task. Whether it is holding your props while you speak, have them hand out the paperwork or notes. Allow them the opportunity to be distracted by contribution.
The Questioned (TQ)
The Questioned is the person who makes you regret saying ‘no idea is a bad one’ This person will make you reconsider your whole life’s work with a simple and utterly irrelevant question or answer, they will have you gasping at the amazement of how they got the job in the first place. This person has the best intentions though, and are trying to help. They just do not know how to.
The Questioned are challenging to resolve. You cannot merely say, ‘ask better questions’ because they won’t know how. All you have to do is encourage them to speak more. They are probably lacking confidence and blurting out the first thing to mind. If you support them to talk more, engage with the material and allow them the opportunity to perform, you might be surprised by their achievements.
We all know at least one person who will eventually show up, when? no one knows. This person should have a conversation with the ‘Watch Wachter’ to understand the importance of time. The key Identifier is the ‘Eventually’ and ‘Watch watcher’ are never together they despise each other’s time management skills. There is a fear among both of them that the world will turn in favour of the other.
This individual will probably never be on time, so you have to accommodate to them or at least let them believe that. You must encourage better time management amongst all your staff and show gratitude when they are on time, the ‘Eventually’ will soon find out they are the only ones not receiving praise, If Pavlov can do it, so can you!
The Offended, this person seems to be in a constant state of offence, they take constructive criticism personally and are offended by the slightest of comments. This individual loves their job; they love their work so much that offence follows any negative feedback or response.
The offended are difficult to speak with. You need to identify a tactful way of disarming them before you strike. You must compliment their work first (it will lessen the blow) then suggest improvement and ask their opinion. Asking their opinion is crucial, you are allowing them the opportunity to defend their position, this means you maintain control over the conversation, then you strike. Once they finish with their articulate defence, all you have to say is ‘I disagree’ quickly followed by the improvement you want made, and leave. Going through the process will allow you to maintain control over the conversation. By allowing the ‘Offended’ to voice their opinion when you allow it, also not having a chance to respond again as you walk away. You have given the person no option but to follow your direction.
The Silent are one of the more exciting personality types, especially when considering “the quiet ones know all”. These individuals like to keep to themselves, the thought of social interaction makes them feel uncomfortable and nervous. This person is sitting in the room probably in the corner or at the back avoiding the social butterflies because that is a situation waiting to happen. ‘The Silent’, though quiet will have a lot of information stored in their fabulous brains. They have the advantage of not being involved with the office gossip but hearing all about it; they also listen to you during the meeting. Their downfall is brainstorming, you know they have an excellent idea, probably ground-breaking but they will not disclose anything.
The ideal scenario when communicating with ‘The Silent’ is to help them feel comfortable, show them that opinion is wanted and needed, though never say ‘no idea is a bad one’ because 'The Questioned' might hear you. You want the silent to open up and express their opinion and to be heard, encourage them. Begin with a one on one brainstorm and slowly work your way up to having the entire office.
Mobile Users (MU)
The Mobile users (MU) are more common than you might believe, they are the individuals who are always glancing at their mobile phones trying to see who just messaged or called them, they are a highly social group who need constant attention.
To help stimulate the MU brains and keep them off their phone, you will need to keep them involved. You will always be in competition with their mobile. You will always need to reconfirm your position, but know if you ever need a contact they will be more than happy to help, they will put there excellent networking abilities to use and have that contact within minutes
Whingers, the people who keep your lunch room talking, the people who will always have an issue. No matter how hard you try, the whinger will prevail. Never ask how a whingers day is going, you will soon find out when they start to list their ailments, conditions, family history and bills, they will never let you go.
This individual has a constant need to seek approval and recognition, they see whinging as their only way of stimulating discussion through sympathy, most of the time whingers do not realise how much they do it, it is natural to them. To try and stifle the whinging just a little, try politely letting them know, that is not all that bad, try finding positive things to change the topic. For example, try saying ‘look at this amazing weather’ and steer them away from the nonsense.