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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Dominator

Dana Brownlee published a fun paper on PMI's Virtual Library called Managing the "Meeting from Hell!"  The paper describes three common dysfunctional behaviors that appear in project meetings and suggests techniques for managing team members who display these dysfunctions.

As so often happens, I experienced one of these behaviors in a meeting this morning shortly after finishing the paper.  "The Dominator" appeared in the meeting and just would not let up.  It was a very frustrating experience.  Because this was not "my" meeting - I just withdrew and ignored the discussion for 15 minutes until "The Dominator" finally let up.

So here are the three common dysfuntional personalities that Dana identifies:

1. The Dominator - Overly Aggressive, bullying, tramples on others' comments, may hijack the meeting completely.

2.  The Multitasker - Physically present but mentally elsewhere.

3.  The Rambler - provides circuitous, protracted, rambling commentary.

Funny, as I reflect upon my experience with "The Dominator" this morning - I realise that my coping strategy was to become "The Multitasker."  I guess that is bad, but it is better than the conflict that would have ensued if I had continued to challenge "the dominator."

The paper is worth reading.  I think that the categorization and labels provided by this paper will help me to identify and deal with these behaviors.

You may find Dana at Professionalism Matters, Inc. and at

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