A Safe Way to Cut People Off in Meetings

When meeting participants veer off topic, important time is lost. But even when leaders or peers intervene, it’s often too late, and the normal response (“This is really interesting, but can I suggest we get back to the topic at hand?”) leaves everyone feeling awkward. Thankfully, there is a simple solution: the word “jellyfish.” Jellyfish are, of course, those funny-looking   creatures that have drifted on ocean currents for millions of years. Use this word to prevent   drifting in meetings by introducing the jellyfish rule: If any attendee  feels the conversation is heading off course or delving into an inappropriate level of detail, they simply say “jellyfish” or “I think we’re having a jellyfish moment.” It’s a safe, effective, accessible catchall that means “Why don’t you take this offline — the rest of us  would like our meeting back.”

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