Managing Discounts & Plops in Team Meetings

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  • 0:03 Plop!
  • 0:55 Discounts & Plops Defined
  • 2:00 Dealing with Discounts…
  • 4:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Ignoring or ridiculing ideas in team meetings requires a deft manager who can deal with discounts and plops. In this lesson, you'll learn more about managing discounts and plops in team meetings.


Have you ever been in a meeting and heard a conversation like this?

Tom: What do you think about offering free delivery?

Rob: (laughing) That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Sarah: Well, what else can we try?

Cherry: What about allowing people to pay online and pick it up?

Rob: That might work, but there has to be a better idea.

Sarah: Maybe we should try delivering for free.

Rob: You're right, Sarah, that's probably the best idea.

How must this conversation make Tom feel, who first floated the idea of free delivery only to be ridiculed and shot down for this idea? Unfortunately, these types of scenarios happen far too often in team settings and meetings, incidents that have even drawn their own terms: discounts and plops.

Discounts & Plops Defined

You know what it means when a product is discounted. It means it's marked down. When a person is discounted, however, it takes on a whole new meaning. Someone who has been discounted in a team setting or meeting has been contradicted or even made fun of. They may make a comment or suggestion that is laughed at or immediately shut down.

A plop is a funny term that has a similar meaning. It happens when a team member makes a statement or suggestion that is completely disregarded or overlooked. In short, the idea 'plops.'

In a team setting, a discount or a plop can be frustrating or demoralizing to employees. It may cause good ideas to be missed or even prevent a good idea from surfacing for fear of being ignored or put down. The trick for managers is to foster a work environment where all ideas are acknowledged and treated with respect. And, that's what this lesson is all about. Let's look at some strategies for dealing with discounts and plops.

Dealing with Discounts and Plops

Navigating meetings where every member is heard and understood, without being overlooked or ridiculed, is the responsibility of an effective leader.

Here are some strategies leaders can implement for eliminating discounted ideas and plops:

Reinforce active listening as a team behavior.

Teaching employees to value active listening, which requires individuals' full engagement in what is being said, can help ensure that no idea is passed over. Active listening exercises may help. Consider dividing employees into teams and asking one to read a short passage from a book. Then, after four or five minutes, the listener can summarize what was being said.

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