Getting a Seat at the Table

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No doubt you attend more meetings than you probably care to.

And no doubt, many of those meetings aren’t always the best use of your time.

So, to suggest that there are some meetings that you’d actually want to attend must seem pretty absurd.

But it’s not.

Types of Meetings, Simplified

When you break it all down, there are really only four types of meetings:

  1. Meetings you attend that aren’t worth your time (likely, most)
  2. Meetings you attend and are glad you do (likely, a few)
  3. Meetings you don’t attend and are glad you don’t (likely, many)
  4. Meetings you don’t attend but would really like to (likely, at least one or two)

It’s this last category that’s worth another look.

Attending Meetings Worth Attending

What meetings are worth attending? Do you know?

Likely, they’re the ones where important decisions are being made. (Rather than ones where you hear about important decisions that have already been made.)

What would you have to offer if you did attend? What’s your unique perspective on things that more senior decisionmakers would benefit from hearing? In other words, what makes you uniquely qualified to be a part of the decision? (Rather than being apart from the decision.)

How would attending help you grow, professionally? In other words, how could attending a certain (set of) meeting(s) accelerate your development as a strategic decisionmaker?

Who needs to know that? Your boss? Your boss’ boss?

Ask and Ye MAY Receive

Simply put, sometimes you have to ask if you want to have a seat at the table. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll get an invite, but it is often a prerequisite step.

But when you ask, be sure to be able to crisply articulate why your attending would help them with their work…and you with yours.

[Original Source: GottaGettaBlog! April 2004]

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