Gig Tips: Speak up at meetings


I’m feeling tired tonight so I want to write something short, sweet, and to-the-point.

Have you ever been invited to a meeting with a small group of people and witnessed one person who literally did not add ANYTHING to the meeting?   No comments, no thoughts, no feedback, no voice, no nothing.   Let me tell you, this makes me and others in my company CRINGE.   Why was that person there?   Why was that person taking up that seat?   That person should have been doing something else instead of being at that damn meeting.

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image source:  http://jenniferfrahmcollaborations.x.iabc.com/files/2011/06/meeting.jpg

When invited to a meeting with certain objectives, it is important to understand what your role is in that meeting.   Are you there to vet an idea?  Is the person leading the meeting trying to gain consensus for a decision to move forward in some way?  Is it to participate in a debate of an idea?  Brainstorm?  Be informed?  Contribute thought leadership that others can learn from?   WHY ARE YOU THERE???

Once you know this, it is critical that you follow through and do your part.  Fulfill your end of the bargain.   You are an employee there because they see value in you.  They want your opinion, or at least your participation.   When I am in a meeting and I see a non-participant, I get seriously irritated.   Are they not paying attention?  Do they not care?   Is there nothing in that brain to help the cause?   Whatever the reason, it does not reflect well on that individual.

So ladies, be confident.  Be concise.  Be thoughtful.  And come prepared.  And when it is you and a group of individuals coming together to share precious time during the working day, do your best to move that meeting forward.   Speak your mind.  Contribute.   Earn that paycheck.   Be objective, be accurate, and honest.  Sure, sometimes the meetings are boring.  Sometimes they suck.   But we are all strong and we know how to get through painful situations (right, remember 9 months of pregnancy??!?!?)

But whatever you do, don’t text, don’t doodle, don’t look down, and don’t stay silent.

Our time is too limited during the day to waste our own time or to waste other people’s time.

That’s all for now –

– Mama K

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