Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Wed, Jan 05 2005

Meeting Or Manipulation?

I always have a tough time in meetings and will generally come away from one feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. So I appreciated an online article, in which a balanced approach was explored as a way of making meetings count for something. I'm definitely drawn to the idea of taking more time for brainstorming, focusing on the big picture, and creating a comfortable environment where everyone can contribute. Sometimes the people who are most quiet in meetings have some of the best ideas, but are reluctant to speak up when one or two personalities dominate a discussion or agenda. Very often these dominant people think of themselves as good leaders, when in actuality they are holding back the progress of the whole group.

I encountered one of these manipulative types of meeting leaders awhile back, and when some of us mentioned that the shy or quiet people in the group rarely put forth any verbal input, the leader tried to appease us by inviting written, anonymous input by way of a survey. The problem is that a person who is not comfortable unless he or she is "in charge" will still tend to use such input to advance his or her own agendas and positions. By the time the survey was discussed, the leader managed to sum everything up in such a way that things were brought right back around to the leader's pet positions.

There are companies who make a business of teaching other business people how to run great meetings. In spite of this, I rarely encounter a person who is so good at running a meeting that I can't wait to get there and see what great things are going to happen. Those of us with lively imaginations like to hope for a meeting that launches new opportunities and gives us a sense of adventure or accomplishment. How do we cope with folks whose style is to lead with an iron fist, and especially when they go through the motions of being open to the views of others, only to revert to their manipulative behavior when they perceive a loss of control?

posted at: 14:51 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Interesting Application Of Guidelines

Amvona.com has an affiliate program in which they mention the right to refuse any web sites that (among other things) incorporate materials that infringe on any copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights. Now they're being confronted by a local Watsonville company regarding those same issues.

posted at: 06:26 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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