All of us have felt it. What should we do when don’t feel seen or heard at work? How do we regain our footing if we’ve lost control of a meeting?
- If you’re leading a meeting, be proactive. You’re responsible for meeting cadence and timing. Lean in and ensure important voices are heard.
- If you hear someone being cut off in a meeting, create space for them to speak. Say “I’m interested in what Mike has to say…” and give him the floor to share.
- Take the high road when you can. Don’t assume bad intent if you’re interrupted.
- Be resilient (and persistent). If you have key content to share, don’t censor yourself. Keep trying to break into the meeting dialogue. If you can’t get a footing to speak, send an instant message to someone else on the meeting and ask them to be an ally for you and give you an entry point.
- Pave the way for others to share. Be a champion and an advocate for others on the meeting. Give them the floor and show interest in their perspective and ideas.
- Encourage others. Be a mentor for someone who doesn’t like to speak up in meetings. Ask them how you can support their ideas.
- Deal with meeting regret. Often we regret the things we didn’t say–the answer we didn’t give and the details we didn’t provide. Our fear of saying the wrong thing leads us to say nothing at all.
- Learn how to deal with ‘interrupters.’ We’ve all seen meetings and presentations derailed by someone who consistently interrupts. Learn how to effectively handle these interrupters and retain (or gain) control of a meeting.
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