If you think you spend way too much time in meetings, you’re not alone. Most of us know the feeling of looking at the calendar, seeing one meeting after another, and realizing that you have virtually no time in the day to actually accomplish the things you need to do. It’s frustrating.
But if you’re going to be stuck in meetings, you can turn it into a better experience by making a positive contribution. If nothing else, a meeting is a visible forum for your ideas and professional presence. Nobody wants to be the person who just shows up and zones out. These tips will help you be a strong performer in meetings:
Be prepared. One of the biggest problems people cite about business meetings is a focus on too many questions and not enough answers. Half the time seems to be spent bringing people up to speed and answering questions that wouldn’t need to be asked if everyone had come prepared. Set a good example by making sure you know everything you need to know going in.
Play to your strengths. If you were invited to a meeting, you’re there because someone thought you had something to offer. Take advantage of the chance to show your knowledge and competencies. Don’t be a showoff, but speak with confidence and a clear point of view.
Keep it short. We’ve all been in meetings with people who love the sound of their own voice. You can be the most valuable person in the room just by expressing yourself clearly and concisely. If there’s a concept that’s too complicated to explain quickly, don’t take everyone into the weeds. Give a quick overview and offer to follow up with more detailed information for anyone who’s interested.
Ask questions. Actively participating by asking questions shows that you’re engaged and interested in the discussion. Try to ask open questions, which encourage dialogue and can help generate new ideas. Questions can allow you to clarify the position of others, improve your understanding of an issue, and show respect for the expertise and opinions of your colleagues.
Speak up to highlight issues. Many people find it easier to go along with the majority in meetings rather than highlighting the issues and working through them as a group. Although it can be daunting, meetings are the first place where issues should be discussed, and you shouldn’t hold back. A willingness to speak up and go against the flow demonstrates strategic thinking and shows your commitment to the team and its success.
Volunteer to stand out. Listen for any upcoming assignments, projects and other activities where you can volunteer and make a difference Offering to go outside your regular duties will go far in demonstrating your value to the team.
For most of us, meetings aren’t a favorite way to spend our time at work. But knowing how to make an effective contribution in meetings is a great way to demonstrate your value and voice your ideas.
Lead from within: Meetings can’t be avoided. But if you do the things no one else is doing, you can use them to help make the difference you want to make.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
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- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.