Meetings without bosses: 9 tips against self-actors in the team


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Many go in, little comes out - that's the common opinion about meetings. That meetings often fail can be due to many factors. One of those we want to shed more light on here is the self-portrayal of Team-Members. But what to do about it?

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Meetings are affected by the human factor

What do we have with us? Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® not everything written about meetings. How to make them more efficient, how to prepare them purposefully; how celebrities organize their meetings and much more. And it shows again and again: the bad tongues have absolutely no wrong, unfortunately.

One aspect, however, we have neglected so far: that many meetings simply sickened by the human factor. Because instead of serving as a place for a productive, open exchange, meetings are too often abused by those colleagues and bosses as a stage, which have a penchant for public speaking and self-expression.

Meetings - the perfect stage for self-actors

I remember a job many years ago: While the boss talked and talked for hours, plainly unimportant stuff and visibly in love with his own remarks, I wondered with concern, as I was still doing my job in all the talk. Incidentally, my office colleague did him the favor to adore him all the time.

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Only years later did I look back Sense understood such rituals: that in many cases, meetings actually have the task of providing a platform for self-performers. And bosses like to take advantage of this situation. The result - productive collaboration and joint decision - quickly becomes a minor matter.

Meetings: According to science, that's going wrong

Annegret Bolte, Judith Neumer and Stephanie Porschen of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISF) in Munich described in detail in a study for the Hans Böckler Foundation a few years ago, what goes wrong with meetings.

One point is exactly that self-expression. Because, according to the scientists, meetings all too often offer an arena for competitive struggles for many participants. It is not uncommon for the question to be asked: “Who is the stronger? Who will win the next exchange? ”

The fear of "verbal thugs"

No wonder, says the study, that some employees are really afraid of meetings. Because either you sit quietly and must listen to the exchange of blows - or you become a target yourself.

And most of all, the whole thing is a waste of time. For many, the “solution” to the problem is to somehow endure the meeting and hope to survive it unscathed. This is a shame, because with a few simple rhetorical tricks you can turn the tide as a simple participant, not just as a leader or moderator.

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As co-moderator take the helm

Exactly: Even if you do not moderate yourself, you can use some casual remarks to steer the discussion back into calmer lines and structure it. So get the other participants to continue the discussion constructively.

So what if Kollege steals everybody's show again or open conflicts arise? And how do you manage indirectly to bring the boss with his airs to reason? Here are some tips to get the meeting back on track.

9 Tips: How to get a meeting back on track?

  1. If other participants deviate from the topic, you can structure the discussion again: "I suggest that we first discuss this proposal and then that one."
  2. In the event of a conflict, try to focus on the matter: "I am interested in hearing other opinions on this topic so that we can get a more objective picture."
  3. If colleague Important differs again: Lead him back to the topic by reminding the others. Just ask quietly "What are we talking about here?"
  4. If the colleague is still biting into the topic and concentrating on the conflict, not the matter: just start to flee forward and ask for more specific information. "Who is involved?" “Would you like to report how it was?”
  5. Careful and indirect questions, such as more information, are also useful in getting bosses back on track.
  6. Feel free to test whether other participants understood what it was about: "Can you tell me how you understood colleague F.?"
  7. You make a speech and colleague Important drives you into the parade, because he has to represent himself? Respond constructively to objections and try to engage the other participants by asking your interlocutors to ask for more information and backgrounds. But complete the discussion with your own facts.
  8. Summarize important statements and the result achieved so far: "We found that ... and then found out that ..."
  9. Identify consensus points and show the participants the success of the meeting: "We have achieved that ...", "We have now reached agreement".

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German edition: ISBN 9783965962767

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English version: ISBN 9783965962774 (Translation notice)

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Buy a book on the topic at a discount: Do you like this text and want more information? There is also a book, including this text, and you can purchase the book title here directly in two languages, as a member even with a 20 percent discount. Would you like to take a look at the book first? You can do this by previewing the book look at and then buy directly on the book page.


German edition: ISBN 9783965962767

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English version: ISBN 9783965962774 (Translation notice)

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  1. Justin Oberdick

    Yes, I know that very well from everyday work, that always others steal the show. Thank you for this important topic.

  2. Daniel

    I can only advise anyone to start their own business, so you do not have to go to boring meetings.

  3. Maria C.

    On your side you will always find very helpful tips, thanks for that.

  4. Sahara

    Very important and interesting contribution, because that really happens very often!

  5. Andrea Koepf

    Very cool site here, thank you for your important contribution to the topic of Meetings!

  6. Sandra Rosetti

    I have the experience that in spite of all Selbstdarstellerei in the end on achievement arrives!

  7. Roland

    Unfortunately everyone is the next person in the meeting!

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