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What is Dominance?

Dominance in a meeting describes the behavior of a person who uses their position of authority or role in the group to control the situation in a way that excludes the fair and equitable consideration of other viewpoints. In other words, they use their position to bully and suppress the other participants. Dominance is considered a meeting dysfunction because it prevents healthy conversation and results in heavily biased decision making.

Dominance is a term commonly used in the standards development process, where voting committees strive to avoid it in order to achieve a balance of interests. Business groups also refer to this as an uneven communication problem.

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