P.O.P.!....The Potential Pitfalls of Personality


There you are: All your balloons are filled and floating nicely above you because your hands control the strings! Then...suddenly P.O.P. !!! .....

One breaks open and upsets the group.

"The Pitfalls of Personality" emerges. It lurks in most groups in one form or another, such as in:

The “Dominator”: They have something to say about every little thing, and will even repeat it a couple of times in case someone missed it.

The “Grump”: They always find the negative whether it's factual or not.

The “Yackety-yack”: They are in love with hearing their own voice and have no limit in

listening to it.

The “Know-it-all”: In their experience it was done this way and that's the way it must be done forever.

The “Dozer”: Out of nowhere, they ask a question about a matter that was discussed 20 minutes before.

The “Stealth”: They work behind the scenes to plant seeds of discord. Are any of these personalities lurking in your group?

If so, here are some strategies that may help ameliorate them:

1. Maintain control of the group meeting through advanced communication of the following:

....... the stated reason for the meeting

....... the tightly planned agenda (see The Checklist tool)

....... the thoroughly prepared reports, background information for action items, etc.

....... all officers/executive committee members prepared to speak up on any

agenda item

2. Assign seats at the table

….. intersperse old and new members ...... place informed members next to less informed ones

...... assure that the leader can see all members

3. Use the “Round Robin”: To insure everyone has a voice, ask a question of the group and then ask for a short comment from each member around the table. Always start with a member who you “tipped off” in advance.

Example: “You just heard the report from the Gala Chair. Let’s go around and each of us give the one thing we should continue for next time.”

4. Serve refreshments before or after meeting or both. Provides informal social time.

5. Use the “Buddy” system

.......ask an amendable member of the group to reach out to the “Personality” and work to build a relationship with them. They should a) chat with the individual about topics in advance of meetings; b) include them in pre meeting small group social talk; and c) sit next to them at meetings.

6. Build group relationships

……plan a casual, after hours social

……make sure the buddy brings the “buddy”!

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