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Why You're Not Relevant in Meetings

        posted by , January 06, 2013

On some level, meetings are mini leadership competitions. In fact, if you regularly get respect in meetings, you'll quickly find yourself gaining leadership responsibilities.

If you find that you're not relevant in meetings. If people rarely show interest in your thoughts. If you have difficulty influencing meeting outcomes.

There is hope. A few habits that may help:

1. Don't go

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings".
― Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author
It's hard to do well at something unless you're passionate about it. When your schedule gets booked up with meetings that seem to be purposes onto themselves — don't go.

Naturally, we all have to go to meetings that we don't find appealing. However, the more you can target meetings that are productive, the better you'll do. Your passions will emerge.

2. Talk early and talk often

Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte
It's best to be relevant right from the start. Being fully present and aggressively engaged will get you further than daydreaming about weekend activities.

3. Take action items and deliver them

What you do speaks so loudly that I can't hear what you say.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
People quickly tire of coworkers who are all words and no action.

When you're always ready to take-on a few worthy action items — you'll quickly earn the right to be at the center of the conversation.

4. Actively listen

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
~ Ernest Hemingway
When you listen and constructively build on other people's thoughts you instantly become relevant.

5. Support good ideas

If you think an idea is good, support it. It will build goodwill and help to move the conversation along.

6. Use a little humor

A joke is a very serious thing.
~ Winston Churchill
Personality goes a long way. Loosen up and enjoy meetings.

7. Facilitate!

It helps to view yourself as a meeting facilitator. Think about the direction of the conversation and try to give it little pushes in the right direction.

8. Leadership Training Helps

Meetings are all about leadership. Take some executive leadership training that will challenge your abilities.

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