How do you handle the hijacker ?

30. April 2015

hijackhotspotIt happens all the time: Someone interrupts your meeting. Whether she disagrees with your approach, brings up irrelevant information, or he wants to use your meeting as a soapbox for his own personal agenda, dealing with interrupters during a meeting is challenging.

As a negotiation-leader, you also have to deal with this kind of objections.

How should you handle an interrupter? Will it work to just ignore the person? And how can you get the meeting back on track?

In her HBR-article, Rebecca Knight outlines what some experts say. Here’s some principles to remember:

Don’t …

… get upset and emotional about the interruption — stay calm and collected

… be in a hurry to brush off an interruption — sometimes it’s worth probing further to
gather more information

Do …

go in prepared: prepare an agenda ahead of time. It’s your decision, whether you want to ask your business partner for his input

stay calm and listen: listen to what the interrupter is saying and validate his points

Then, if necessary to stay on track, be resolute and direct: redirect the conversation by restating the purpose of the meeting – according to your agenda!


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