We’ve all worked with that person who is utterly convinced that their view is the only view — and isn’t afraid to vocalize it. This can be annoying, and even disruptive, but you don’t have to stand for it. When the person gets on their soapbox during a meeting, hear the opinion out and then refocus the group on the task of making a decision together. Don’t get wrapped up in your emotional response to the person’s behavior. Instead, stay focused on the work the team needs to get done, which will help you stay grounded and clear-minded. Present an example of decorum and mutual respect for the others to follow. If the soapboxer tries to reclaim the stage, you can say: “We heard about that point, and now we are considering others.” If this person claims to have the support of someone who isn’t in the room (a common tactic), don’t accept it. Explain that as a group you have to move forward with the opinions in the room.
Adapted from “How to Deal with an Office Soapboxer,” by Alicia Bassuk