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Challenging Scenario:
Chatty Cathy

 

Scenario

Your Circle includes a member that weighs in on everything each member says and talks for a long time. While the commentary is not unhelpful, it’s preventing other members from having an equal share of time to contribute. 

 
 

What you can do

In advance: At Circle kickoff, include a Circle norm that everyone commits to helping the group have equal time for sharing and contribution.

As it’s happening: When someone is talking too much, listen with engagement, and gracefully interrupt with:

  • “That is such a good point! Has anyone else run into that?”
  • “Cathy, that makes a lot of sense. I’d love to know if anyone else has felt the same way?”
  • “I love this discussion. We need to keep going for the sake of time, but let’s come back to this later.”

Preventative approach: Take the person aside in advance (in person or by email) and ask for their help in drawing the more quiet members into the conversation. “Cathy, I really appreciate that you are such a contributor to the Circle. We need people to speak up to make the Circle valuable. The next step is getting everyone to join in the conversation. As one of the more vocal members, I know I need to sometimes be quiet in order to let others speak up. Will you help me engage the more quiet ones in conversation? We need to hear from them!”