How to check if it is happening?
What are some signs people are not giving room for others to talk and how people avoid it?
The easiest sign is that there are people at the meeting that were supposed to be there but have not contributed.
If someone invites 5 people specifically, but only 2 are contributing, then you need to consider:
- Why were the other 3 invited?
- What perspective do they have that the talkers are missing?
- How can we get their opinions?
- Who are the decision makers?
If the other people are only there to sit and listen you don't have a problem. If they are expected to contribute and are not, that's when you have a problem and it should be considered a a sign.
How to encourage others to speak up?
I noticed a few team members did not say much -- I am uncertain if it was because they simply did not have anything to add or if I was dominating the conversation.
Many people will NOT interrupt others. Introverts in particular do not do this, because it feels disrespectful. Extroverts often love the atmosphere of talking over each other.
I am a hardcore introvert who can fake being an extrovert and I still feel very uncomfortable interrupting others. I can do this only because I know that for most people who dominate discussion, they don't actually mind and interrupting is ok. But I still hate doing it myself.
When I facilitate meetings where people are not speaking much, I ask them by name, something like, "hey 8bit, do you have thoughts on this?" It's even better if you can ask multiple people at once, "hey 8bit/9bit/10bit, you guys have been quiet, what are you thinking?" to avoid singling them out. In my experience, introverts and shy people really appreciate this. Especially if (and it's likely to be the case) they have wanted to say something but not been able to get a word in.
Don't do this right away because introverts like to process information.
I frequently find that the extroverts (who dominate discussion) often somewhat nervously laugh or realize they've been preventing others from talking. They don't do this intentionally but get caught up in the discussion.
You want to keep this an "easy to say no or yes to" question. Don't make people uncomfortable by forcing them to say something.
Also, just a note, when you ask this question, give more than 3 milliseconds for them to respond. Too many extroverts assume that if someone doesn't say something in the first fraction of a second they don't have anything to say.