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Are You Talking Too Much in Meetings? Here's Why You Should Care

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

This weekly tweak is part of our series to make work better together - get it direct to your inbox.

Asynchronous communication, a type of communication that you'll need to understand and embrace in a flexible workplace.

Have you ever been to a meeting where one or two individuals have done all the talking? We bet you have! We’ve all been there. We might have even been the ones doing all of the talking. Chances are in this meeting you may have switched off, thought about what you wanted for dinner that evening or just asked yourself “why am I even here?”😱

Did you know that in meetings of six or more people, two will do at least 60% of the talking? Guess what, for even larger meetings, over 80% of the conversation will be dominated by two to three people.

But why does this matter?

Well, for starters, when you dominate the conversation, you're not giving others the chance to share their thoughts and ideas. This can lead to a lack of diversity in perspectives, meaning you won’t be getting the full picture. If people aren’t given the space to speak up, valuable insights are getting lost.

It's not just about giving others a chance to speak, actively listening to what people have to say is so important.

Typically, when we listen to others, we are often waiting for a break in the conversation to jump in. When you're busy thinking about what you want to say next, you're not really hearing what the other person is saying and could be missing out on some valuable, suggestions, thoughts or feedback - this may make the person less likely to share again in future or may even feel unheard.

One of our recent ‘Make Work Better’ tweaks was on improving meeting participation and how you can build confidence and trust within your team using a check-in question in every meeting. This is a fantastic way of increasing the share of voice in the room, but, how do you know what the share of voice in the room is and if you are talking too much?

This week's Twork (tweak for better work)

Be intentional about how much you speak, are you speaking for the sake of speaking, are you rambling a little, maybe you feel you could speak up more.

Where you can, introduce a check in question to build the habit and practice of everyone speaking.

And if you're a manager or leader, it's even more important to create a platform for everyone to have their share of voice. By enabling others to speak up and contribute, you're creating psychological safety, building connection, and fostering trust.

An even better Twork - our top tips to maximise this tweak

This is where a little tool called or similar can help. It’s an AI tool that attends your virtual meetings as a participant and can give you an understanding of the share of voice in meetings, who spoke the most, who had less of a chance to contribute, so you can be more conscious of how much you're speaking and how much others are contributing.

Our advice is use it sporadically and not on every meeting. Ensure everyone is aware of it and has the output from it and understands why it’s part of your meeting. Maybe try it once a week and track to see how having awareness of share of voice changes.

So, the next time you're in a meeting, try to be more conscious of how much you're speaking. This is especially important when working remotely where we don’t get the opportunities to bump into each other and chat. And if you want to take it a step further, give a tool like a try. Who knows, you might be surprised at what you learn!

Best of luck with this weeks tweak - let's make work better together 😉

Michelle Wallace


A Better Work


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