A successful meeting provides for equitable participation of all members. No one dominates, and no one disengages. Having a designated facilitator can help improve that dynamic.
There are many strategies for engaging all participants. It does help to set that as a goal at the start of the meeting, seek agreement from the group in allowing the facilitator to help them “share the air,” and then intervene when some start talking more than others.
Other strategies include systematically going around the room to seek input on a question, get input by starting with the quieter members of the group, or breaking into paired or small group discussions if the team is large.
The group must be willing to express the interest that all people participate and one or a few voices don’t dominate the conversation.
That can be explained one-on-one with the most vocal participants ahead of the meeting, then reinforced from the front of the room by the facilitator.
At the end of the meeting, assess how well you did in terms of engaging everyone in the topics of discussion. “What worked well today? What do we need to strengthen at our next meeting?”
Contact our Help Desk if you need assistance in encouraging more equitable engagement in your meetings.