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Tips to Make People Talk in Meetings

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Scrum masters and agile coaches also have a job to be facilitators of various team events. When the thought of an event comes up, the main thing that comes to mind for a scrum master is how to make people get talking out their ideas in the meetings. It’s a bit frustrating when all your efforts go to a vein, all the breaks, tea, snacks, or any other mode to comfort teammates are useless and fail to make teammates participate in the discussion.

“The majority of meetings should be discussions that lead to decisions.”

Agile coaches and scrum masters know that to achieve decisions all members in the meeting must participate and express their thought. In today’s topic, we will learn some reasons why people avoid speaking in meetings and solutions to these reasons making scrum masters and agile coaches’ jobs somewhat easy to perform.


Reasons for being Silent in Meetings

Lack of Preparation

When the meetings are held without unprepared data, purposes clarity indicates that there is a lack of preparation for it. This lack of preparation will induce fear of the unknown and create anxiety within the invited members of the meetings and they will avoid speaking in the meetings as they will not be sure of what the required agenda of the meeting is? Along with proper meeting preparation, it is also required to prepare invited members beforehand. They should also be prepared with the meeting agenda and schedule in the previous meeting.

When they have Introvert Personality

When a person has an introverted personality then they avoid voicing out their thoughts. The research shows there is a quite large number of the office-going population who are introverts. The task becomes more challenging when they are from different cultures and diversity.

Fear of Rejection

It's human nature to be afraid of rejection whatever the situation is; whether, it's an interview, business proposals meetings etcetera. They fear that what if they get rejected because they are wrong or they are wronged. This thought makes people avoid confrontation. In such cases, people avoid asking about their needs and even avoid speaking up about their ideas and thought. In some cases, people avoid speaking considering that their thoughts may be basic to be known knowledge or it will make them any laughing stock.

Compared to the other two reasons fear of rejection is a different kind as it keeps a mark of hurt in your memory. Sometimes the action may also do the job and create hurt. In many cases, the other person even doesn’t recognize that they have caused such an impact by their words or action on the person.

Now we will move towards the tips to overcome these reasons and make people voice their thought.

Scrum master

Tips to make People Speak in Meetings

Be well Prepared Beforehand

The beforehand preparation of the meeting will reduce anxiety and fear of the unknown making people speak. It will also give others time to think in advance about the topic and can generate better ideas. This beforehand input will help the non-native speaker to prepare in advance about their points as it may be hard for them to translate their thoughts in the specific language. So the preparation must include:

  • Be prepared in advance-Provide the teammates or meeting members with a homework assignment in advance to get prepared for the meeting. This will provide a systematic discussion in a meeting as everyone will have their thoughts written in advance.

  • Create Formal Agenda- Let the team provide their ideas share them with emails in advance. From those thoughts, you must create a formal agenda and share it with others again. This will provide others some more time to think on other ideas on the list and also provide a thought on them in a meeting.

Call the Ramblers

Being a team leader you must surely know who the enthusiastic ones are and who the silent ones in the team are. So talk to them beforehand and make clear with enthusiasm that they should wait for their name call for speaking and silent ones that you are looking forward to hearing from them.

Create a suggestion box before team meetings

Creating a suggestion box and putting various ideas in it and during meetings collecting and working on it will help to generate various ideas. This will ensure that no ideas during working also are listed down and are heard in meetings.

Create Psychological Safety

Create a belief in the team that it’s okay to take risk of speaking within teams. It’s okay to talk about what you feel at meetings.

“Meetings move at the speed of slowest mind in the room.”

So by using the above tips make the team speak up and accelerate their mind hence moving the meeting at speed and achieving higher benefit in lesser time.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

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