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Internal Business Meetings 101

Paulo Laureano
Paulo Laureano Opinion

Introspectiveness, listening, and ensuring the best ideas win!

To get the most out of Internal business meetings, you need to know yourself, have the discipline to listen and calmly deliver your ideas, correctly evaluate what added value you bring to the table and stay on track with the meeting objectives. Sounds obvious? Probably. Try evaluating participants performance, including yours, in your next meeting; you may be surprised. I know I was…

 

Know yourself

You likely have some excellent skills, have studied hard, and have plenty of experience in your area of expertise, and your presence at the table is fully merited and justified. But please, indulge me, read the following two links, and take a good long hard look in the mirror.

The “dunning-kruger effect” also affects intelligent and competent people, especially when they wondering on the edges of their area of expertise and obviously when they go beyond it.

Insecurity, uncertainty and doubt, and different manifestations of the imposter syndrome are visible all the time in the most brilliant people I have ever met.

Knowing yourself is perhaps the most underestimated skill most people seem to lack. It is somewhat easier to go through life without a mirror. When organizations ask employees to evaluate themselves and the people they work with, it is evident that some people have a hard time looking at the mirror and describing what they see. It seems easier to focus on what they did or did not accomplish when evaluating others instead of their personality traits. Everyone feels a lot more comfortable discussing results and metrics.

 

The art of listening to others and calmly contribute

Realy listening to others, thinking about what is being said, the choice of words, and the message they are attempting to convey. It’s a tricky skill to master when you are young and inexperienced. However, acquiring it usually becomes easier with experience.

Don’t be eager for the spotlight. Pay attention. Take (mental) notes, see if their message is getting through to others. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask questions; getting the message across is precisely what they want to achieve and the reason they are talking in the first place.

If you know yourself, you have nothing to fear about being the idiot in the room. On the contrary, your confidence (being humble) to wear that particular hat will be appreciated by everyone present.

Try not to interrupt whoever is speaking and wait your turn. Do not feel the pressure to add something to what others have already said. If you have something to say that adds value to what has already been said, great, go ahead and say it. If you don’t, compliment your colleagues on the fantastic job they just did and the ideas they have brought to the table.

Less experienced people will attempt to make the most of their seconds in the spotlight. They are eager to show how brilliant they are and get the recognition they are craving.

On occasion, it’s up to you to talk. Take a deep breath, don’t rush; take the time to breathe between sentences. As you deliver information, you will be thankful for not being interrupted. The occasional question that helps clarify some obscure issue in your explanation will help you get the message through.

 

Meta goal for every meeting!

I have owned a company for over two decades. Every person I hired is better than me at something, has the potential to be, or has know-how that I do not have and consider valuable. The same applies to my current job.

I want to listen carefully to these magnificently talented and knowledgeable individuals. So I have to pay attention to every single word they have to say. I am learning new information, forming an informed opinion, and contributing to solving whatever problem is on the table. The meta objective is always the same: the best ideas must prevail.

The worst thing that happens in meetings I attend (thankfully, rarely) is that people go on ego trips, holding on to their ideas, unable to embrace contributions from others. Fortunately, I am (mostly) surrounded by humble, hard-working geniuses with a sense of humor. As a result, most of my occasions are memorable.