“Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs.” - Seth Godin
BOOSTER BYTE 80
There is a way to stop such hijackers. Having your own written agenda including each topic, purpose, and the decisions to be made or the work product at the end establishes who is in control. It’s much more difficult to wrestle control away from someone who is prepared and aware of the latest developments on the topic. Nevertheless, it won’t stop the most determined hijackers from trying.
Before they can get rolling on the reasons why you must change the meeting purpose, stop them. However you do it, be sure to seize the floor. Do not let them argue their case by asking why they think theirs is the more important mission.
One tactic is to solicit peer pressure by asking the group if the hijacker’s new topic has a higher priority than what everyone came here to discuss in the first place. Of course, you want the group to speak as one against the hijacker. It just might work. However, this tactic is not without some risk. Be sensitive to the group’s dynamics. The hijacker just may have sufficient influence over the group that no one is about to disagree with her. Like any good lawyer, never ask a question whose answer you don’t already know. If you get the wrong answer, you’ll be in a worse position than when you started, and you’ll only have yourself to blame.
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