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balanced advice
Managing the Challenger
Pause. Ask the person to hang on to
their question or comment, which
you will get to as soon as you finish
what you are saying/doing. Once you
have finished what you were saying/
doing, go back to the "interrupter"
and ask for the question.
sIdebar conversatIons
Pause can often bring attention back
to the speaker. If standing, utilizing
movement is the most effective
option. Look at a person near the
individuals having the conversation
and use their eyes to bring you to
that area of the room. (Be careful to
stay in front of the room. You don't
want to turn your back to anyone.)
If it continues, be more direct and
look directly at the person as you
move toward them while delivering
information. If these people continue
to have a private conversation,
call for a break or ask them if they
have questions.
technIcal gadget
Eye connection and pause usually
brings this individual's attention back
to you. Another option is to ask an
open-ended question and wait for a
response. If the person talks on their
phone, you can simply recommend
that they take their call outside of
the room.
The danger here is that it can become
just a one-on-one exchange and
you'll lose the other listeners. Try
acknowledging their concern, be brief
in your response and tie your response
to their benefits (ARC Method). If
the individual still disagrees, take the
conversation offline.
debbIe downer
This individual can affect the energy
of the entire group. First try the ARC
Method. If they're still negative, take
the conversation offline or call for a
break and address the situation.
early departure
Don't sacrifice your close. Address
this behavior by saying you'll make it
quick to value their time. Be clear and
concise. If it's not at the end of your
remarks and you sense the room is
restless, either call for a small break
or ask open-ended questions to
address it.
This individual typically has a strong
need to be heard. Simply acknowledge
their expertise or ask them to share
an experience then connect back to
your message. Consider asking them
to deliver information - draw on
their expertise.
moment of sIlence
After asking a question, there's a
long moment of silence. Try "priming
the pump." Come prepared with
questions you could answer. Another
option is to offer a question: "One of
the questions I am typically asked on
this topic is... What are your questions
on this topic?" If still no questions,
finish strongly with your call to action
and benefits to the listener.
For more tips, go to:
8 Tactics
for Managing
the Challenger
By Stacey Hanke
Communication Expert