In this video, Lisa and Elizabeth share how to get invited to important meetings, and how to get yourself on the agenda and make sure you're part of the conversation. Learn how to introduce a subject in a meeting, ask the right questions, summarize information, identify action items, and wrap it up—before people get bored of you talking.
- Have you ever left a meeting wondering if anything was even accomplished, or maybe that meeting should've just been an email? Well, you're not alone. A recent report from inc.com revealed that people will attend an average of 62 meetings a month and 71% of people admit to doing other work during a meeting. So, if you want more authority, you need to get invited to important meetings. You need to get yourself on the agenda and make sure you're part of the conversation.
You also need to learn how to introduce a subject in a meeting, ask the right questions, summarize information, identify action items, and wrap things up before everyone gets bored of you talking. So, let's break this down. As an informal leader, you can create the opportunity to reframe meetings, even if you aren't the one running them. Let's look at the planning. If you're the one planning the meeting, send out an agenda, and describe what you want to accomplish as a result of the meeting.
You know, in many organizations, this alone will differentiate you. You should also include an accurate timeframe. Keep in mind, just because the calendar autosuggests a 30 minute block, that doesn't mean a 10 minute meeting can't be effective. You know, stand-up huddles are one the best ways to get things done really quickly. And if you're not the one planning the meeting, getting on the agenda is a great way to increase your informal authority.
Now, don't ask for time on an agenda just for the sake of you talking. Think about how you can add real value to the attendees and don't be afraid to speak up in advance. You know, maybe you can offer to introduce a subject that you have expertise in, and link it to the company objectives. Or perhaps you want to share a brief update on behalf of your work, or your team. You know, next, think about what can you do during the meeting? No matter what your role, meetings always benefit from someone asking the right questions.
You know, if you want to position yourself as a leader, ask action-oriented questions. Things like, who will be responsible for this, what effect will this have on our customers, what's a reasonable timeline? You know, it's not your job to grill everyone or raise every potential pitfall, but simply to make sure the meeting is comprehensive and actionable. So, you want to ask in a collaborative tone. Here's a tip, the more you listen, the better questions you will be able to ask.
Think quality here, not quantity. And, lastly, you can lead by summarizing the meeting and making sure there are action steps moving forward. You know, after a long meeting, it can really be challenging to wrap it up. So, offer a few key themes that you took away or report on your own team's action items. This makes it strategic instead of merely a tactical meeting. And, remember, end the meeting positively.
Thank the person who organized the meeting, if it wasn't you, 'cause here's the truth, not all meetings need to be a snoozefest. As an informal leader, you have the opportunity to set the tone. If you're prepared, focused, and action-oriented, meeting with your colleagues can be hugely productive.
- Listening mindfully
- Being a mentor
- Inspiring others
- Asking for and giving feedback
- Leading in high-stakes situations
- Learning continuously
- Building trust