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Dealing with dominant voices

02 Dec 2010

Working with groups

How do I deal with the same old people who always dominate the conversation in our product development meetings? asked a designer from a new telco JV.

The secret is not to ‘deal’ with them at all – but to get others in the room talking:


  • acknowledge what they have to say is useful/valuable
  • summarise what issue the group is working on (in case the conversation has gone off track)
  • say you’d like to offer everyone in the room the chance to contribute
  • divide people into smaller groups (2s, 3s, 4s)
  • after a few minutes ask for feedback from each group

This will enable the quieter ones to share their views in a ‘safer’ environment and ensure that a diverse range of views are heard.

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