Home > Challenges, Leadership > Top tip for influence and impact at meetings

Top tip for influence and impact at meetings

There’s a huge clamour; people talking over each other or a succession of people making their points, arguing their case.  Or maybe it’s one long monologue after another.  Talk, talk, talk and not much listening but everyone thinks they’re doing a great job at this meeting because they have said a lot.   And there’s nothing that makes sense of it all and moves it towards a conclusion and decision.  Until…… there’s a calm and confident voice that hasn’t been heard so far that makes a few really pertinent points and brings everything together  – the hubbub subsides, there’s space for everyone to take stock and everything is refocused on the aim of the meeting.  This voice is the one that has authority and is soon recognised as such by the whole team.

How do I know? one of my coachees wanted to have more impact at meetings so I asked him who had the most authority at meetings he attended.  After a few moments thought he realised that it was the person who habitually said least but came in at a critical point with something that made a real difference.  By changing his behaviour he has now become recognised as the person who gets things done at meetings, increasing his authority and status both in meetings and in the leadership team as a whole.Influence and impact at meetings

So how do you do that?  In short:

  • sit back quietly and really listen
  • identify patterns and themes, points of common ground and difference and how your view fits
  • jot down key ideas
  • summarise, make your points succinctly and propose a way forward which takes account of all views expressed, not just your own

And of course always use this power with positive intentions!

What’s your top tip for making meetings fruitful and using them to enhance your influence and impact? please add your ideas to the comments below.

Next time: how are you infecting your team?

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