My feed

to access all these features

Join the discussion and meet other Mumsnetters on our free online chat forum.


Excluded in meetings

3 replies

Isabel1066 · 31/08/2013 19:36

What do you do if and when you're in a meeting - or with colleagues in an informal setting - and people talk across you, or at you, or simply exclude you altogether. It happens to me rather a lot!

Just now, for example, I was at a small meeting, 4 of us, to talk about something that's arisen in a local community group that I'm active in (we're the trustees). Two of the more vociferous members talked right across me - I could hardly get a word in edgeways. In terms of the discussion and decisions made, I might as well not have been there. (Actually, I'm coming off this board shortly, to focus on other things in the group - and this has been the tone and pattern of meetings since I came on two years ago.)

Left feeling like I have no voice worth listening to! (And to make matters worse, they were off to a party hosted by someone in the group to which I wasn't invited - why should I be, expect that most, if not all, of the active members of this group will be there this evening ..)

Am beginning to wonder if there's something in me for people not to like. I get on well with colleagues but there are one or two who talk past me -

Don't know what to do in this situations? I usually quietly chip in when I can, and have started to suggest, certainly in formal meetings, that all voices are heard.

Any suggested tactics would be gratefully received!

OP posts:
SDhopeful · 31/08/2013 19:49

Isabel - I do understand your situation! People do have their own agenda and usually prefer to talk rather than listen. I have often been in meetings (particularly with men, tho' maybe just 'cos the industry I am in tends to be male rather than female dominated) where I have made a point, it has been ignored, then several minutes later the same point has been made by someone else and noted...
Sorry, no tactics to advise - but watching with interest to see if any insights expressed Grin

EBearhug · 31/08/2013 19:59

I think your suggestion in formal meetings is good, but it does depend partly on how capable the chair is.

I usually quietly chip in when I can - Possibly the quietly bit is part of the problem.

Knowing when to chip in is a problem I tend to have - it's either a long pause where no one says anything, or I start talking over people because I misjudged a pause. Other people seem better at it, and I wonder if they read body language cues better than I do - perhaps you could look at how your body language is portraying you. I remember a presentation I went to a while back, and there were things like sitting with your arms in front of you with your elbows bent to the side so you take up more physical space can make you seem more authoritative. Do you sit forward or back? I know I have a tendency to sit back when I'm in a meeting I am feeling ignored in, and that makes me seem disengaged, and so people are less likely to involve me.

I'm not an expert, but it might be something to find out more about, in case you're giving off subconcious "I'm not as important" cues or something. Body language and assertiveness.

WhatchaMaCalllit · 31/08/2013 20:03

Is what these 2 talk over you about related to the meeting? If it isn't, then as they are talking, you can interject with "Mary & Pat, that isn't relevant for us now. We can include that in the A.O.B section of the meeting but we must get back to talking about Y" (replacing the names of course) and keep the meeting on track.
If they are talking about something that is relevant (please don't shoot me) but could out be that because you come across so timid in the meeting, they might think that either A you don't understand what is going on, B you're not interested in the meetings or C something else that I can't think of?

I would have to speak up though in the meeting and point out to them that they are being very rude.

Best of luck!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.