Meetings. You either hate them or love them. Personally, I enjoy a good meeting. They can be productive and helpful when done right. In this post, I have collected my ideas and observations on what makes a meeting great and helps you shine in the process.
- Prepare. If you have an agenda, be sure to review it immediately upon receipt. Determine how much time in advance you need to begin preparing; and then schedule, for example, twenty minutes of time before the meeting. Maybe you need to block time to accomplish tasks so that you can deliver a positive update.
Remember, someone thought the topic important enough to add to the agenda. If you have a solution to the problem or a resource to get the job done, contribute.
- Be punctual. Value others by showing up so that you are ready for the meeting to begin at the scheduled time. You especially wouldn’t want to be known for unpunctuality. And if you are late, don’t burst into the room out of breath apologising profusely. Quietly slip in. If the meeting has commenced, give an apologetic nod to whoever may look up and find your seat. If they are waiting, enter with confidence and briefly excuse your lateness. There is no need to explain why or how – no one really cares. Then don’t be late again.
- Sit next to the most powerful person in the room. I read this tip in a book by Lois P. Frankel*. Sitting close to the people with authority gives you an appearance of authority as well. This is helpful when you are working toward your next promotion or need to convince members of the team of your ideas and plans.
- Speak up. This is another tip from Lois P. Frankel. You should contribute as early as possible. Your preparation should include something you can add to each topic. You don’t need to share everything you came up; but if the opportunity arises, you will be prepared.
Don’t be afraid to make polite interruptions if the group is starting to move to the next point when you have something left to add. Another good way to contribute is by asking meaningful questions. This will challenge perspectives and promote creativity for solutions.
A few words of warning – make sure your contributions are necessary and concise. Give others the chance to speak up as well. Let your ideas be challenged. Don’t control the conversation.
- Pay attention. Sometimes we get invited to meetings that don’t seem relevant. If being present isn’t useful for you or the other attendees, decline the invitation. If you accept, show up and engage. Few things come across worse than the person sitting in the meeting on their phone or laptop, clearly bored or busy with something else. In that case, it would be better not to come at all.
Make sure you’re on track with the topics and that you can ask or give answers as necessary.
Remember, it’s your actions that lead to change, resulting in the effect you want to make and be.
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Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel
Audible UK: https://amzn.to/3iUevUk
Audible USA: https://amzn.to/3aox7rJ