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How do you deal with colleagues who are disruptive in meetings?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 150,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week we asked: How do you deal with colleagues who are disruptive in meetings?

  • I don’t say anything in the meeting but do provide feedback afterward, 49%
  • I call them out and confront them directly in the meeting, 35%
  • I don’t say anything to them but I let their managers know about the problem, 12%
  • I don’t do anything and figure someone else will fix the problem, 5%

It’s a good thing the vast majority of you are nipping a problem early.  Not only do disruptive colleagues get your meeting off track, they can poison your culture.  It’s one thing to dissent and problem solve productively in a meeting and another thing entirely to be rude.  Direct feedback that is timely is the most powerful tool you have.  For the 12% of you passing it on to the person’s manager, I suggest when you do so you ask that manager to give you an update after the feedback has been delivered because in many cases, that manager will not provide the feedback to your colleague since they weren’t in the meeting and they’re likely “busier with other things” (translation: avoiding giving the feedback).

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders.