Sitting in meetings!
When I first started in business…I handled meetings just by going to them! Someone was running the meeting, and the rest of us were listening. I learned soon the power of persons who were sitting in the meeting! So my advise is: don’t just go to meetings and sit there! Here’s how to make yourself an excellent meeting attender - and contributor!
Prepare - Who is running the meeting? Do they welcome participation..? What are the issues, plans, decisions that will be discussed? What’s the history of this meeting? What’s the leader’s meeting style?
Organize - When you finished that preparation, gather your thoughts, experiences, and ideas. What do you have which will meet the needs, solve the problems, or create solutions?
Plan - How can I get my ideas into the mix? Develop a strategy…If they start down a certain path…If something surprising happens…Get together some key ideas that will enhance the meeting, get it back on track, turn it to a positive from a negative. Then prepare some statements, some statistics, some new information. Think of ways you can “jump in”…statements you can make.
Rehearse - Now, try those outloud to yourself or a colleague. Actually rehearse them!
The power of your contribution - Many senior executives have reminded me…If an organization’s ideas, strategies, plans total 100%, they (the senior executives) operate at the highest levels: the top 2%. But…they need what we have to offer- - the 98% which supports the 2%!
The result - When someone - hopefully the leader - says to you, “You were very good in the meeting today. Everything you contributed was positive and exactly to the point!” This occurred not because you were lucky…it occurred because you did more than just sit in the meeting!! So say, “Thank you!’ and get ready for the next meeting!