Too often teams and organizations are paralyzed by action of an opposing stance of one person or a small group of people. Whereas it is true that many creative breakthroughs occur from outliers in an organization, the real question is whether these outliers have any credibility. In other words, is anyone actually listening to them.
As a facilitator this can easily be determined by watching the group dynamics surrounding these outliers. Do people maintain eye contact and are their bodies facing toward these people, or do most people break eye contact and turn away from these people when they speak. If it is the later, this person has lost credibiity and influence in the group.
What you can do
The facilitator has a couple of choices when these outliers lack credibility. They can spend some of their own permission and credibility if they believe the person has something constructive to offer or they can minimize the restraining impact of such an individual.
I would always suggest that the first goal would be to unite this person back to their team or organization if possible. If this can’t be done and the person is restraining the system, the facilitator should consider the following steps:
4. If they continue to perseverate on their point, the facilitator will need to intervene and as a last resort ask them to leave the meeting. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”.
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