Teams at work resemble families in certain ways. Things don’t always go smoothly when a bunch of individuals with vastly divergent personalities is forced to coexist. While some teams are gifted with personality types that balance one other nicely, many have a dominating personality or two who throw the dynamic off-kilter. Speaking out a lot on the team is not necessarily a bad thing. However, it frequently discourages participation from other employees when one person rules chats and meetings in the workplace. It can lower morale by giving employees the impression that it is hazardous to participate, offer constructive criticism, and bring a variety of viewpoints to work. Sometimes this occurs because the dominating individual is overly extroverted and eager to engage, or because they just lack self-awareness. Additionally, it could be due to the person’s “Enforcer” conflict style. This mindset says that even if it hurts the relationship, people should focus on “winning” and meeting their personal demands. Here are 7 ways to handle a dominant team member.

Work on your own self-awareness

7 Ways To Handle A Dominant Team Member
7 Ways To Handle A Dominant Team Member

Talkative, outgoing individuals are naturally inclined to contribute during gatherings. Workers with a dominant personality, however, might not be aware that their frequent contributions can make quieter co-workers hold back. It’s beneficial to concentrate on self-awareness if you tend to speak out a lot in meetings so you can make sure you’re not preventing others from participating. In the grand scheme of things, becoming more conscious of your personality and behaviour in various situations can be enlightening. Workplaces often use tools like the DISC personality exam to help employees develop this crucial self-awareness. The DISC personality evaluation is a behavioural style assessment centered on the traits of dominance, influence, stability, and conscientiousness. To learn more about your personal priorities and preferences, take the time to look into DISC and other freely accessible evaluations.

Encourage others to talk

In a meeting, if someone is dominating the discussion, invite other team members to share their opinions. This will make those workers feel appreciated and serve as a reminder to the more powerful co-workers that their peers’ ideas are equally important. Additionally, it relieves the strain on co-workers who have the peacemaker personality type and strive to ensure that everyone is heard.

Create boundaries

Establish some limits if the dominant personality frequently speaks during other people’s conversations to let them know this behaviour must stop. It might be a finger raised to indicate that it’s not yet their turn. Or you may remark that while you recognize their desire to speak up, you need more viewpoints.

7 Ways To Handle A Dominant Team Member
7 Ways To Handle A Dominant Team Member

Politely cut them off and redirect

Find a technique to gracefully end the speaker’s sentence if the dominating individual is rambling or talking so long that your colleagues are showing signs of agitation. One strategy is to use anything they said as a springboard and turn it in a positive direction.

Confront colleagues privately

It’s time to have the manager of the dominant employee take them aside if these strategies have failed. Tell them it’s not that you don’t want to hear from them if that describes you. Instead, you should simply ensure that you and your co-workers hear from others as well. Describe your desire to establish an environment where everyone is encouraged to contribute. Explain why it is difficult to accomplish this when one person always steps forward. If they frequently interject, respectfully remind them that while you appreciate their passion, they should wait for others to complete speaking before adding their two cents.

Become a Better Leader

Even if you don’t hold a formal position of power or management, you can nevertheless influence a lopsided conversation. Then, after emphasizing how vital it is for everyone to contribute, offer others an opportunity to comment. Call on your teammates if they show signs of hesitation. One person is all it takes to get things started.

7 Ways To Handle A Dominant Team Member
7 Ways To Handle A Dominant Team Member

Use the ‘Broken Record’ Technique

Use the broken record technique to repeatedly repeat your message in a firm, neutral tone if a dominant person raises their voice or tries to intimidate you. When a powerful co-worker dismisses your ideas, the best course of action is to remain composed and keep a neutral attitude. Also helpful is planning out your speech in advance. If you’re well-prepared and practice how you want to respond to a specific circumstance, you’re less likely to freeze up or become flustered.

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