Tales from the Wendy House

In a recent article, I came across a top tip for not being interrupted in a meeting – keep talking. Apparently, it gives you control back if you don’t stop speaking. Interrupting can be frustrating, but it’s not always a power thing. It can take you off guard, especially when the conversation is exciting. 

Meetings can be pretty informal, or you have to put your hand up to say something. I’ve witnessed pretty much most scenarios over the years. So, I’ve tried the “keep talking” method. I have to say it has varying results dependent on the tone of the meeting.

Here are my top tips on getting a word in:

  • Wait until the meeting is 25% in before saying anything. That gives you time to assess the dynamics, politics, and tone of the meeting before giving your input.
  • Body language helps. If you take a sharp intake of breath as if you are going to say something, it normally gets people to focus on what you have to say.
  • Don’t wait until the end of the meeting to say something. Most meetings go over the time, and you can be left there having contributed nothing and have a lot to say.
  • Don’t say something for the sake of it. If you say less, people will take more notice when you do speak.
  • Listen. If you’re asked to comment, and you have not been paying attention, ask for the point to be made again “so that you fully understand” the question.
  • If you’re chairing the meeting, remember that you’re there to get the best out of the meeting, not for your continued input. Listen and control.

What are your go-to tips for effective meetings?

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