WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? Survey Results

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Survey Results

Scenario 1

Scenario description: You are leading a social committee meeting and one of the participants abruptly walks out of the meeting, clearly showing signs of anger. What would you say to the group?

Tips to consider:

 In such situations, providing a break can be a great way to let emotions cool and give people space to think.

 When you do follow up with an individual, check to see if they are okay to talk or if they need more time. Listening to their need will increase the opportunity for a constructive dialogue. One item of discussion should be about the what information can be

communicated back to the team in order to bring closure..

 When checking in with the rest of the group, remind them that if they have concerns, they can bring it forward to you to look at options for addressing it.

 Remind the group that making assumptions and judgment about a situation without having all the information could impact the cohesiveness of the committee and possibly, the relationship with the participant that left the meeting.


“If you have differences of opinion, please do communicate with me during this meeting or afterwards. I aim to be open, welcoming & receptive to different suggestions. Diversity in ideas are important!”

“I would advise that emotions can run high and that I will speak with the individual after the meeting and carry on.”

“Let us give the participant who are in anger a quiet time to calm down.” “Sorry about that.”

“I would ask the staff not to comment, and let them know that I would approach the situation, talk to the member to make sure is OK and to make sure that nobody in the room did not offend the individual.”

“We should check up on the person to make sure everything is alright.”

“I would questions if the group would like a chance to take a break and return in 10 min, giving me a chance to check on the individual. Excuse the disruption and get the group back on task


and take the next break to attempt to check on the absent participant. Depends on the nature of what was being presented/discussed.”

“Ask them to continue their discussions, perhaps ask someone to mediate, while I excused myself to seek the individual and offer assistance if required. Need to know more info and be subtle and empathetic before moving forward. Keep conversation private and not instigate rumours when returning to the group.”

“I apologize for the interruption, would someone be able to go check on Mr. Smith to ensure everything is alright?”

“Is there anybody else that doesn't agree with this situation. How can we solve the situation and have everybody be happy.”

“I think the trick is never getting to that point. However if it were to happen. I think taking a moment to consolidate your thoughts as I would not want to say something that could further exacerbate the situation. I would look to move the meeting forward without the individual. I would then speak one on one with the individual to figure out what caused the anger and work on solutions to move forward.”

Acknowledge the feeling and take a break to check in, "John Doe appears to be upset, let's take a 15 minute stretch break so I can check in with John Doe. We'll resume our meeting at X time."

"I think I will take a moment to check in with {name} to see if they are okay"

“Continue on the conversation/presentation in a professional manner making no comment about the participant's actions. I would address the participant directly as soon as possible after the meeting to discuss in an open conversation about their thoughts and feelings about the topic that angered them. I may also review with that member the importance of professionalism even when we may not agree with something.”

“I am not sure why that happened. My apologies for their actions and for disrupting out meeting.”

“I would remind the group why we are meeting and what the purpose of the meeting is for. Generally meetings are held to accomplish positive changes or to make positive and

contentious decisions about (In this case) the social committee. I would encourage those that are still with us to take a five minute break. This would give me the opportunity to reach out to the individual who had left the meeting angry. Once the meeting is able to continue, I would encourage those that are still with us to finish the meeting and do our best to accomplish what we had planned. After the meeting again, I would follow up with the individual who had left to ensure that they are informed of the contents during the second half of the meeting.”

“Please continue to work in small groups, I will be right back.”

“I would say, maybe asking some to take over the meeting and going and check on the person, or ask somebody else to check on the person to make sure they are ok.”


“I would proceed with the meeting and address the participants behavior privately with them after the fact.”

“Sorry for the disruption. Please take a break and I’ll be back shortly to continue on with our meeting.”

“If I was not the main source of their anger I would tell the meeting i want to make sure that person is okay, put the meeting on break for 30 minutes and go see the person.”

“Tell everyone we are going to continue and stay on task but if anyone has any points or issues at any point throughout, please bring them to my attention (either now in meeting or afterwards one-on-one or via email). Follow-up with individual who walked out and see if we can discuss the issue. Let them know I'm coming from a position of wanting to listen, understand and

discuss in order to work towards and agreement or resolution resolution.”

“It is unfortunately that Bob left our group meeting, but we must continue on without him. Hopefully he will be able to join us again today or at our next meeting.”

“Stop and take a few minutes to discuss what triggered the anger response. Plan to discuss with the participant privately and then with group if appropriate.”

“Let's pause for a while and reconvene shortly.”

“I would apologize to the group on the person behalf regarding their actions & continue talking about the subject I was previously talking on.”

“Does anyone know why [that person] may seem upset? I better go talk to them.”

“I would not go into discussion of what just transpired but if the members' sign of anger was the result of a decision/discussion point by the committee, I would ask the committee if there were any further questions or comments on that point and if everybody was in agreement with the decision made.”

“Talk to the participants in private and try to resolve the issue and involve him/her back in the meeting.”

“Let's take a short break. I am going to check on… See you in 10.”

“I would continue with the meeting and let the participants know that we are going to let the person cool down and I will address the issues privately with that person. If there is any

feedback to bring back to the group I would do this either individually or in the group depending on how the initial meeting concluded.”

“Despite the interruption we will continue with the meeting and I will follow up with the individual on the abrupt action in the meeting and also with any meeting content that the individual had missed due to their absence.”

“I will follow up with X when we're done here to determine if they need support. Is everyone comfortable with continuing?”


“Let's take a 5 minute break and then we will get back to it. Upon resumption I would remind everyone that all ideas are valid and there is no one solution. Please keep in mind that while input is important not all ideas will be viable but it doesn't mean they can't be stored for an event in the future.”

“We are going to take a little pause ...”

"I just wanted to pause to check in and get a read of the room. Is there anything that I'm missing that the committee would like to discuss or bring up?" I would check in with the person who left the room later as well.

“I would acknowledge to the group that the person has some concerns and will need some time to process them. I would then advise everyone to take a break and that I will address the concerns individually with the person and come back so we can continue. During the conversation with the person I will advise that they seem to be upset and ask if there is

something on their mind that they would like to discuss. Advise of the importance of maintaining professionalism and that if they need time to sort things out then they should let me know and we could work out a plan. I would then discuss the possibility of returning to the group and continuing with the meeting.”

“Please excuse the person, I will speak to them in private and carry on with the meeting.” “I would complete the conversation/activity and then direct the group into a break. I would then check-in on the person who left, actively listen to their concerns, follow-up and ask what they would like next. When returning to the group I would address the walkout and remind the group of the group guiding principles.”

“Sorry for the interruption, could (insert name) please go follow up with that individual, and see if they are ok? And please report back to me. Thank you.”

“I would propose a 2 min pause. Ask the team they think ignited it.”

“There are two appropriate responses, depending on the types of people involved in the committee. First response, could be to pause the meeting for a water break and speak directly to the malcontent individual. The second response is a bit more passive; I would continue the meeting as planned and ask that we table that idea or motion in the meeting until the individual got back to explain his discomfort with the situation. From there, we could grow the discussion into less about anger and emotions, more about the facts.”

“I would tell them to take a 5 min break and I would walk out and talk to that person for a short period and see if I can calm him/her.”

“Excuse me for a moment while I see what the problem is.”

“Recognize the disruption and inform the group that I will try to determine the cause for the employees sudden departure.”

“-Stop the meeting, take a washroom break or drink break if it is vital for all to be involved -If conversation could continue i would ask someone to take the lead and make notes for our


return -Follow the individual to make sure they are #1 ok and go to a private place for a conversation. -Ask the individual if they are ok to chat first, then listen!!!!”

“I can see that member is upset, is there anyone else experiencing frustrations at this meeting that would be open to discussing so we can work towards a solution. I will discuss with the member in a one on one setting to see if we can resolve the issues and bring them back to the group at our next meeting.”

“Would someone be able to check in with xbox and reassure them we will make every effort to address their concerns? Does anyone else have any concerns they might want to highlight regarding the same topic?”

“I will follow up with the individual once emotions have time to settle to discuss the issue. Let's have a quick blind vote to determine if we can continue to have a productive meeting. Please write continue or discontinue on a piece of paper and hand it into the middle. We will

reschedule if the majority believe it is necessary to manage this issue before we continue with discussions.”

“To continue...”

“Can you please excuse me for a brief moment; then I handle the situation with the guy.” “It would depend on my role in the social committee. If I were the OPI, I would try to reframe what was being discussed, table the topic for the next meeting. If there were other agenda items to be discussed, I would continue to cover the remaining items and conduct the remainder of the meeting as a professional.”

“Tell the others they must be having a bad day.”

“Let's take a break and reschedule the meeting for tomorrow. Please excuse me while I go check on ___.”

“Let's take a five minute break to stretch your legs and grab some water. Meet back here in five minutes.”

To the group I would say, "Does someone want to see if that person is ok?"

“Given the circumstances, if we were still in the meeting, I would ask the group to continue to work on what is being discussed with CO Chair and I would ask to be excused to meet privately with the individual as it appears that the individual is dealing with something that needs to be addressed in a private forum. Once discussed and it is not personally in nature I will debrief the group as a whole. If they are having issues with processing incident they can either talk to the highest Manager, HR , or EAP.”

“I would continue the meeting and address the person afterwards. I would not draw attention to that person’s behaviour unless it warrants it.”


“I would say it depends on what happened right before he/she storms out. Perhaps I would ask someone who is close to the individual to check on them/check on them myself/suggest we continue the meeting at another time.”

"Please excuse the interruption" then proceed with the meeting and deal with the angry participant as a separate matter.

“If one of the participants abruptly walks out of the meeting, the first thing I would do is attend to the group. I would acknowledge that something upset this individual and let everyone know that I will follow up with the individual to have an open conversation about the incident and any issues they are facing. Additionally, I would hold an open door policy for anyone who wants to talk about the incident. Because we are in a professional setting, I would continue with the planned agenda of the meeting.”

“I entrust the group to begin the discussion about the next topic which can be led by the person I trust most or the other staff member (if I have one there). I then go to try and talk with the

angered party to try and understand why they are upset.”

“Please excuse me while we take a 5 min break! Then go talk to the person who left the meeting.”

“Calm the situation, call a quick 5-minute recess, and go talk to the person.”

“It’s normal to have frustrations in this situation. We’re going to continue the meeting and I will talk to him personally at the pause or the end of the meeting.”

“I would suggest a 10 minute break for the group and check in on the participant that was upset.”

“I would ask my co-chair to take over for a moment and see if the participant is ok.”

“I would not say anything to the group and would continue for a little while. I would take a break and go and talk to the person to see what is the matter and try to mend the situation and bring him/her back to the table.”

“I would call a 5 minute break to go and talk to the participant and try to resolve it. Hear their grievance, give possible solutions to work the problem out and give them the option to return to the meeting.”

“I would give the group a break and go see what is wrong with the individual that left the meeting.”

“I would ease the tension in the room with a slight joke and then call for a 5 minute break. I would then go after the participant and try to calm them down.”

“Talk to that person offline and understand the reason for that abrupt walkout and develop a strategy to address the "elephant in the room" at the next meeting or prior to.”


“Tell the group that you are more than open to discuss matters with each individual if they feel frustrated for whatever reason. These discussions must take place in a convenient location and in a timely manner however.”

“Please let's continue with our meeting. I will reach out to the person later to get a better understanding of why he is angry.”

“Would everyone like to take a brief break?”

“As I am leading the meeting I think my responsibility is to the group so I won’t stop the meeting or try to get that person back as it would sidetrack the group. Participation in the social

committee is not mandatory so I would respect his/her choice but avoid to start a discussion without the person. I would not ask the group to comment as it would not be respectful and based on hearsay. Depending on my position in the social committee, I would make sure the issue is addressed if it implies the management of the committee is not following rules or decision process. I would make sure the person is ok after the meeting and see if it is the right time to open a discussion and try to understand if the behaviour was about the discussion I was leading or the way the social committee is working/managed. Depending on the management rules of the social committee ( vote ?) I would refer to those and try to identify what is as stake.”

“Please continue to participate and I will check in with the other employee at a later time!” “Team sometimes face challenging moments and this is one of them. We will follow up with our fellow member on what is upsetting him/her most on this topic. In the meantime, lets …. work on the next topic we will brief them.”

“I would pause and assess the situation in the room - and attempt to notice whether anyone else shows signs of discomfort that need to be addressed. Depending on the situation I would ask if everyone felt comfortable taking a break at that point, or if everyone felt comfortable continuing the meeting, and whether anyone had anything they wanted to share.”

“I would pause the meeting, excuse myself and intercept the participant for a brief discussion of their concerns. If unable to resolve their concerns and encourage them to rerun to the meeting, I would commit to continue that conversation following the meeting, then return to the group, offer a very general explanation of the missing member's concerns indicting more to follow, and continue with the business at hand.”

“Let's take a break.”

“Please excuse me, I need to make sure that person is okay.”

“I will contact the participant after the meeting and find out if there is an issue.” “I would say nothing to the group.”

“Let’s take 10 minutes, and I'll be right back.”


“What did we do to upset [NAME]? What can we do to let them know that we want them to be a part of this committee?”

“I will be right back. I want to see why they are angry.” “Excuse me please. Let's take 5 minutes to regroup.”

“I would down play it and move on. Then I would approach the individual privately later on.” “I would remind the team to stay focused and continue with the meeting as that is a separate matter to be dealt with one on one. At the end of the meeting, I would give each team member the opportunity to voice their concerns in a round table and also let them know that I am

available to discuss their concerns privately if they feel more comfortable doing so.” “I would first acknowledge the situation as I see it. I would reaffirm with the group that this should be a safe place to share views and opinions. I would ask the group if they have an opinion on what happened. I would then make sure that the group has had ample opportunity to participate. I would ask the group what they feel could have been done differently. I would then assure the group that I would follow-up with the individual at a later time and then continue on with the meeting.”

“Let's take a break.”

“I apologize for the disruption, shall we continue.”

“Can we all take a 5 minute break and we will regather shortly? Then i would check on the individual.”

“Let’s take a 15 minute break and re-group once everyone has a few minutes to settle.” “Hello everyone it appears clear that "Jimmy" is upset over something and at this time I am unsure of the cause. I will personally speak to Jimmy after the meeting and find out the circumstances and go from there. Depending upon the issue or issues I may or may not need your help in addressing them. In the interim please let us get back to our meeting.”

“Simply, let's continue and I will talk to XXXX to assess their concerns and update them on the remaining meeting points.”

“I'd express that the reaction of the individual was unfortunate and that everyone here who has an opinion should feel free to express it. A social committee is about the organization and serving the group and that no one in the room should feel unheard or frustrated by the

discussions. I would also state that I would attempt to talk to the individual in a private setting to make sure that his concerns were heard.”

“We assume that the individual is upset about something said but this may not be the case there could be another reason (personal) that may have been triggered during the meeting. If you do not know why the individual left the meeting ask members what transpired that may have triggered them to leave. Speak to the individual after the meeting to see what the issue is.”


“I would put the meeting on hold for a few minutes to allow everyone to "cool off". I would then approach the agitated member privately and discuss the situation. If they refuse to return, I would return to the rest of the group and inform them that we will continue the meeting without that member.”

“Please work amongst yourselves while I check on our fellow participant.”

“I would continue with the meeting and approach the individual who walked out afterwards in private.”

“I would say that the meeting is a safe place to share your thoughts and comments whether good or bad so please don't hesitate to share. I would also say that I will talk to the member that left and encourage them to share their comments with the group.”

“Let's stay focused and continue the discussion. Then go and talk to the angry employee afterward once they have cooled off.”

“Ok, it is possible that something that we talk is disturbing our college, probably we can consider taking a break of 5 minutes to give me the time to talk with this person and try to understand what happened and to invite her/him to talk with us.”

“I will tell the group that I am going to pause the meeting so I can go talk to the participant who walked out.”

“Apologize for the disruption. If there is a person who can check on the participant I would do so.”

“Let's continue the meeting. I will talk to her/him later.”

“I will have a little talk with the person to find out what happened and what we could do to resolve the situation.”

“I would either excuse myself and go speak to the angered party or I would let the meeting continue and hope the person calms down and rejoins the meeting if they feel able.”

“I will continue with the meeting and will tell the group we will check with the individual after.” “Is this meeting causing anyone else to feel upset or angry? I will follow up with that person later to better understand what has upset them, but for now let's continue the discussion if everyone else is ok?”

"Depends on what happened 1. Why did they walk out of the room? 2. Something I said 3. Something somebody else said 4. Does the person's personality allow for a cooling off period 5. etc I would ack what happened and deal with it at an appropriate time"

“Take a 15 min pause and then I would talk privately to the person to find out what was the problem or the reason he walked out.”


“I would say: I will talk to the participant who walks out after the meeting. Is there anybody else who is angry?”

“Can we please take a 10 minute break?”

“Can we take a 5 min break? I just want to check to see if the participant is ok. “ “I'm not sure what has just happened. Let's take a 15 minute break.”

“Please excuse me for one moment. I'm going to go make sure they are okay.”

“I'd tell everyone to take a quick break while I talk to the committee member, in private, about their departure.”

“I would let the group know we were taking a quick break and I would go and find the individual to see what was wrong. It is not the time to jump to conclusions. The anger might have nothing to do either the group. You could also assign the group a brainstorm task while you checked on the employee.”

“This would depend on what the participant was upset about. I would outline again, to the group, what was discussed and the reasons. I would show compassion for a person being upset but I would want the rest of the group to understand the reasons behind what was being discussed.” “I would continue with the meeting and follow up with the participant afterwards.”

“I likely wouldn't say anything. I would just continue with the meeting as if nothing happened.” “I apologize for that and not quite sure what was said that to warrant that but we will continue and I will regroup with "Sue" later today.”

“Hold tight and please continue the discussion. I will be right back (promptly address the individual to understand the situation.)”

“I would apologized to the group and depending on the situation I would either continue on to what we were discussing or step outside to talk to the person who is clearly upset.”

“This would probably be a good time to take a short break so that we can all reflect on the current environment.”

“Can someone take over, I'll be right back.”

“I would say I'd follow up with that participant after the meeting.”

“Would you mind talking amongst yourselves while I check to make sure our teammate is ok?” "My apologies, I just have to step out to check on our colleague and I will be back. Thank you so much." Then I would check on my colleague to ensure their safety and comfort. I would return to the meeting and ask everyone if we can discuss what just happened at the next meeting - maybe ask for suggestions for agenda, like "Committee boundaries, language used, everyone gets to have input, share ideas, and give feedback" etc.


“I would try not to put attention on the person that walked out. I would continue the

conversations, ensuring that this is a team effort and to encourage everyone to be open and communicate freely. Even if it is after the meeting. Once the meeting is done, then I would reach out to the employee that walked out to address their concerns and listen to their ideas and thoughts.”

“Given it is a social committee meeting, I would advise the group we would take a short break and I would attempt to check on the other participant privately if they hadn't left the building.” I would say, "Let's give Pte Bloggins a few minutes, let's circle back to this and come at it from a different angle when he returns.”

“I see that Joe has left the room. Does anyone have a concern they would like to talk about? Perhaps as a group we could come up with a solution that works for everyone.”

“Ask to see if anyone else was upset about what was going on.”

“You acknowledge the situation up front and how being frustrated and angry is understandable, especially when dealing with difficult matters or subjects that may infringe on personal

experiences. What is important is that we learn how to express those frustrations which may include leaving the room to take a break. Then I would ask for a break so that I could go and ensure the person that left the room is ok and I would re-iterate what I just said to the rest of the group.”

“Please excuse Mike, he is dealing with a personal issue.”

"Give that person a minute. If they don't return in 5 min, we'll take a 5 min pause so that I can make sure they are okay and to ensure they get what they need.

“I would ask the group that we continue on with the meeting with their support, and that I will reach out to the person who walked out to address their concerns offline.”

“I would apologize to the group and let them know that I will go and speak with that person to make sure they are okay and to find out how we could have them rejoin the next meeting without getting angry.”

“Stop the meeting and issue a break.”

“I would tell the group that we will carry on with discussion without this person for the time being if appropriate. If it is too heated, I would tell the team that we will regroup at another time. But I would prefer to keep the meeting going and talk to the person after to try and gain their

perspective and or diffuse the situation.”

“Let's take a 5-10 minute break and regroup afterwards. I would then go speak with the individual and address their concerns privately.”

“My apologizes, sometimes our strong feelings need a cooling down time, I'll catch up with him/her after our meeting.”


“I would ensure the person who left was okay by either asking someone else to take over ... or by asking someone else to go check on the person who left to ensure their safety. (someone that person has a good relationship with).”

“I understand that everyone may not be in agreement with this information and invite anyone uncomfortable to discuss this publicly to meet with me directly after the meeting or to email me their feedback at ___@cfmws.com We're a team and need to help each other more now than ever.”

If you have any questions or would like to discuss more about your

particular challenges, contact us for a consult at ccre-cerc@cfmws.com.