Wednesday, January 28, 2009
you will know that you are climbing the corporate ladder if you are attending more and more meetings. that's true. when you used to at the frontlines, or at the back end, most of what you do are effects of what has been discussed and approved and agreed upon. your role was to execute, to implement.
as you move up, your role shifts slowly. at first, your attendance at meetings would be observational in purpose. you are not really expected to jump in and make substantial contributions to the discussion. you are, most importantly, there to observe the process, the protocols, the behaviors. then as people become more comfortable in your presence, you start to contribute. at first, it would be just be about being vocal, agreeing to an idea or a move. then you start to participate more by putting in some disagreement. but refrain from being the lone dissenting opinion. the group dynamics you become part of will slowly accept you and your opinions. and pretty soon you are part of the entire process, actively contributing. your opinion is sought. your vote counts.
on a bigger picture, you still continue to execute much of what was agreed upon. but you will feel the fulfillment of knowing the discussions behind the decision. soon you will have others to execute for you. and your role shifts more. you attend meetings where you are expected to say your piece, to react, to respond, to put order. and you will have more and more meetings to attend.
nevertheless, regardless of your role, bear in mind that you should always be PREPARED for meetings. even as just a member, more so if you are presenting. please stop yourself from thinking that you could always "wing it". preparing means knowing the agenda, the objectives of the meeting ahead of time. this means doing some background data gathering to put the meeting in perspective. take time to really read through previous minutes. nothing irritates other people more than somebody pestering his seat mate to be brought up to speed. it's actually disrespectful of the group and of the process.
and for those who are still in the observation role during meetings, again, exercise extreme caution when you open your mouth. be very, very mindful of what you will say. make sure you have studied the group dynamics and have figured out what works best.
Posted by closet case at 3:06 PM