Tip: This Tool Stops Blamers and Negative People From Ruining Your Meetings

by Mark Murphy


You can't afford to have blamers and negative people derail and dominate your team meetings. So the nominal group technique will equalize every voice on the team by encouraging the quiet people to speak up while pressuring the difficult personalities to tone it down.

Let's say your team has a meeting to choose the proposal price for the new project you're pitching ACME Corp. You invited seven people to the meeting and each of them brings a unique and valuable perspective to making this decision. You need to hear what each of them has to say WITHOUT blamers and negative people derailing your discussion.

As soon as everyone settles down, pass around some sheets of paper. Then give these directions:

"We're going to take five minutes and what I want is to get your individual ideas about how you think we should price this proposal. I want the number but I also want to hear why you think that's the right number, so back it up with some pros and cons, the whys and the why not's, etc. You've got five minutes to write it down then we're gonna pass the papers forward to me to be discussed."


The nominal group technique quickly and easily accomplishes three big things.

  1. One, it forces everyone to take a step back and actually do some thinking.

  2. Two, it gives every voice in the meeting an equal chance to get heard.

  3. And three, once everyone's ideas and thoughts are written down and passed over to you; you now have the opportunity to control the discussion that takes place in this meeting. You can go through those pieces of paper one at a time and say "let me talk about this first idea...then the second idea, etc."  And that's how you keep the blamers and negative people in check.

I hope you liked this quick tip. And there are many variations on this technique to help you manage all the narcissists, blamers, drama queens and negative people you're likely to see in meetings.




I thought you might find this interesting on how to get HONEST input on any idea.  Certainly can be used at home or other situations where you value various and honest input.  Great Leadership in gaining honest thoughts. 



If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever.  Use a pile driver.  Hit the point once.  Then come back and hit it again.  Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack.

 ~Winston Churchill



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