How-to: Deal with Elephants with Agendas

Young Bull Elephant by I, Profberger, via Wikimedia commonsOn the elephant in the room …

Sometimes you begin a meeting or training event with one set of objectives – and it quickly becomes apparent that a significant number of those there have a completely different agenda.

So what do you do? Do you insist on sticking rigidly to the programme despite the atmosphere, failing to engage anyone or get anything done? Or do you acknowledge and deal with the elephant?

If you don’t do something about it, it can make a lot of noise and an incredible mess.

So accept that it’s there, set aside an agreed time limit to pay it some attention and get it off everyone’s minds. Then you can gather their attention back to the objectives of the day. PH

Image credit: Young_bull_elephant by I, Profberger [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-2.5 (

Related: The Elevator Pitch

About Philippa Hammond

Speaking Well In Public offers a portfolio of public speaking courses for business, performance and social occasions designed and developed by Philippa Hammond, combining her skills and techniques as an award-winning trainer, working actor and voice artist. Philippa is a member of Equity and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


2 thoughts on “How-to: Deal with Elephants with Agendas

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    Posted by Mattei | Apr 23, 2013, 12:23 pm


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