Looking for ways to be a stronger leader in 2021? Here are eight tips on how to elevate your leadership presence in meetings.
If you’re a leader, you want to show up for your people in a way that makes them feel excited to be at work, makes them think they can trust you as a leader, allows them to trust each other as a team, and contribute meaningfully to the team and the organization.
Meetings are a great way to set the right cultural messages to your teams! Believe it or not, how you show up in a meeting can fairly quickly make people feel more trusted and empowered! To elevate your presence as a leader, try out these tips in your next meeting:
1. Be clear about why your team feels they need you there
Often, especially in businesses where the culture orbits around a well-observed hierarchy, team members tend to feel less autonomous and therefore feel the need to get permission or validation from their leaders. If this is why they are inviting you to the meeting, you should decline and let them know that you empower them to make the required decisions.
2. Do not pay attention to your phone or any other device
Make sure that your team has your undivided attention. By doing this, you are showing respect and consideration to your team.
3. Practice listening far more than you’re speaking
Try this: put a metric in your mind around 80-20 or even 90-10, where you are listening about 80 or 90% of the time and speaking the balance.
4. Watch your language
When you ask questions, avoid using long, flowery “impressive,” “look how smart I am” language. Keep your language very simple and relatable. Speak slowly and clearly.
5. If the group goes off-topic, pull them back
However, do this is by asking a question. Try asking the group: “Hey, is there a connection between what we’re talking about now and what we started talking about? I don’t see the connection, so can you guys let me know why we’re talking about this? What am I missing?”
6. Ask for advice
Once you get to the point of the meeting where people are starting to either talk about ideas or next steps, inevitably, at some point, all eyeballs might turn to you. Here’s what I recommend at that point. Before you share any of your ideas, Turn it back onto everyone else in the group and ask for their thoughts. Once they start to share their opinions, if it is different from what you probably had in your mind, again, continue with the line of questioning and say something like: “tell me more about that.”
7. Draw out all opinions in the room
Scope around and ask for the views of the quieter individuals. By doing this, you’re going to ensure a clear consensus across the team on the next steps. You are getting the more quiet individuals comfortable speaking. You are helping to re-balance the social dynamic across the team and making it very clear that every opinion matters.
8. End strong
I strongly recommend that you cap the meeting off with a statement like: Thank you for inviting me to this meeting, I enjoyed participating in this session”.