Whether you are a presenter or a participant, meetings offer employees the opportunity to get noticed. What meetings are you sitting in? Who is sitting in those meetings? If you have not given meeting attendance and participation careful and strategic thought, now is the time.
Meetings are a critical operation of business. What’s interesting about meetings is that we can learn more by listening than talking. However, if we remain silent and continue to sit in silence, our thoughts, contributions, and ideas are not shared or noticed among our co-workers.
From this point forward, I would like to encourage you to think differently about meetings.
- What meetings are you attending? Are you being seen and heard by the right people to move your career forward?
- Do you attend any meetings regularly with your executive/manager? If not, why not?
- What meetings should you attend so you can be a more strategic partner with your executive/manager?
- What topics, ideas, and/or discussions are you presenting and leading in meetings? If none, why not?
- How are you actively participating in meetings? If you aren’t making regular verbal contributions, why not?
Here are some helpful tips to make a positive impression the next time you are a meeting participant:
- Prepare in advance for the meeting.
- Manage technology and don’t become distracted from helping to achieve the outcomes for the meeting.
- Listen and take notes.
- Speak at each meeting. It’s not the quantity of the words that will matter. It’s the clear, well-thought out points and ideas you have to share that will make an impact.
- Sit towards the center of the table so you can be heard more easily by everyone.
- Do not dominate the meeting by speaking all the time. Your audience will listen more intently when you choose carefully when to speak.
- Volunteer to accept meeting assignments.
Making deliberate and purposeful contributions in meetings is important. I would like to encourage you to re-evaluate what meetings you are sitting in and how you are contributing to the success of those meetings. Remember, meetings can be extremely valuable if used strategically to help you grow your career.