Running the Meeting When No One Agrees

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Running the Meeting When No One Agrees

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Are meetings meant for arguments? Is that the purpose, to bring people together to argue? What do you do when no one agrees?

when no one agrees

There are more groups than what we can easily count. Groups typically represent a cause, a need, or a special interest. There are boards of directors, committees, and the ever popular task force. Some form to make decisions, others only to provide oversight and accountability.

When people come together for a meeting it is typically to decide on something, share new information, or to help set future direction. If you’ve attended a few meetings you’ve probably recognized that sometimes there is a lot of arguing.


How important is the work that the group represents? Is arguing and disagreement a productive use of everyone’s time?

Sometimes someone will argue just to get a win. They’re hopeful to get a chunk of what they represent heard or thrown into the bylaws.

Disruptive impact might be their goal. They believe that their argument that will somehow make a difference, it might set the pace, or evoke positive change.

It does sometimes, and sometimes it slows the purpose or creates a distraction.

What might really be most important though is the work that the group accomplishes. It is the reason that they come together in the first place. They believe in the cause or the necessity of the group. There is intention to piggy back off one another’s skills and life experiences.

The group that comes together intends to stay together. At least usually that is the case. They exist for a reason. The reason is not about arguing but it is about progress. It is likely not about one point of disagreement as compared with the thousands of others which everyone agrees.

When No One Agrees

Groups who understand that the work that they do is too precious, too valuable, or too important to waste time being sidetracked on disagreements are the same groups who will accomplish something. They’ll do something great, memorable, and for a cause.

Their cause is something that they’ll always support. It is why they’ve come together in the first place. Their work is too important.

If you’re running the meeting, will it be for the cause or for the argument?

The cause might be most important.

Probably everyone will agree.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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