Stop Dominating Our Meetings!

Dec 22, 2021
Stop Dominating Our Meetings! Conversations Worth Having Blog

Imagine. Each week you participate in a two-hour weekly meeting with a team that is responsible for strengthening community and fostering well-being, and one person dominates the entire conversation. Other team members are not able to share their point of view and worse, they don’t feel heard or respected. This was the topic of a recent Monday Kickstarter session. Before diving in to reframe the conversation around a desired outcomes, they took some time to widen the view to make sure they understood the real issue. After the participants asked questions to identify the true challenge, they landed on this as their problem: We are unable to have important conversations.  Then they used Flipping to arrive at a topic for the conversation and created generative questions to help them explore their desired future.  Here’s how they did that:

The Flip and the Positive Frame

Name it: We are unable to have important conversations.

Flip it (to the positive opposite): We are able to have positive important conversations.

Frame it: We each contribute equitably, respectfully and transparently to our communication dynamics.

Additional possible frames:

  • Our team is psychologically safe for risk-taking.
  • We are each able to express our feelings and ideas without being shut down.
  • Our candor allows us to communicate effectively and innovate.

Generative Questions

Participants crafted generative questions and those that resonated most with the owner of the challenge included:

  • What does respect and transparency mean to us?
  • What conditions will support equitable, respectful communication?
  • Think of a time when you’ve experienced communication that supported transparency and respect.
  • How can we disagree with one another without shutting each other down?
  • What if we could model wellbeing in our meetings and then document what makes that possible?


A wonderful clarifying question arose while the participants were identifying the true challenge:

  • “Did you come up with group norms?” If you face a similar challenge in your own team meetings, consider revisiting your group norms and ask, “What norms are missing?”

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