How to give feedback to an over-talker (kindly!)
If you are using Equal Time and want to provide some feedback to a colleague who is over-dominating meetings, here are some tips from our experts.
🤝 Consider Your Relationship
Is this person your boss? Your direct report? Your peer?
The relationship that you have with them will shape the way you should give feedback.
Bosses are required to provide coaching to their direct reports, so it is expected that they share feedback to help their team improve. If you have direct reports you want to share feedback with, discussing objective metrics and observations can make the conversation go more smoothly and relieve stress.
Giving feedback to your superior is usually scary-feeling. We recommend developing a strong and trusting relationship before providing feedback. Ensure they understand you are trying to help them.
🧘♂️ Consider the Person's Current Level of Self-Awareness
Are they just not aware of their actions?
It's a very different situation if the person in question is just not aware that they over-dominate meetings, or if they are aware and just don't care. Office jerks are a category unto themselves, and you may not make much headway by providing feedback.
If, on the other hand, your colleague just has a blind spot and and totally unaware of how much they are dominating meetings, then they would likely be very grateful for some feedback.
📆 Ask for Permission and Pick a Time
Before providing feedback, ask if it's ok to share your observations. ("Observations" may provoke less defensiveness than "feedback")
Select a time where you can meet 1:1. You should never provide this feedback in a group setting, because the recipient may be embarrassed.
Plan what you will say. Lay out your points. Start by establishing that you want to help them, and you are also open to receiving their feedback if they have it. (bi-directional feedback sessions are often better received in a collaborative spirit than uni-directional sessions)
📈 Share Insights with Data
Use data from meetings that you have participated in using Equal Time.
Share your observations from the last several meetings, and bring up data to back up your assertion that they are over-dominating meetings. If they are able to see for themselves just how much they are squelching conversation, and if they do want to improve their leadership skills, they will be grateful to you for the feedback!
Do you have any other ideas or tips for how to share feedback to colleagues? Write to us at email@example.com. We can't wait to hear from you.
Founder and CEO of Equal Time