How to survive boardroom meetings and improve your career

How to survive boardroom meetings and improve your career

Boardroom meetings are an important time, where not only business matters are discussed, but sometimes company turning points are addressed. If you’re there, you’ll want to take heed at these meetings.

If you’re not a participant in the boardroom meeting, don’t take this as an opportunity to mentally drift away.  Instead, keep long-term career growth in mind.

This moment with your co-workers can actually be a time to leverage your career and your work relationships. If you thought you could participate without an invitation, think again. With some brainstorming and expert advice, this could be a time where you could make a lasting contribution to your organization while working on a promotion.

Make an impression – dress the part

A boardroom meeting is an opportunity to become visible to the decision makers and your peers. How you want to be viewed in front of your peers is strongly influenced based on how you present yourself.

Keynote speaker, Kathleen D. Pagana and professor emeritus at Lycoming College notes:

“Positive first impressions, proper introductions, and professional dress are vital to both your daily success and long-term achievement. Everything you say (or don’t say) and everything you do (or don’t do) can influence your professional image. So when it comes to your appearance, do sweat the small stuff. You’ll gain a competitive edge.”

Awareness – study the agenda

Know what you’re stepping into. Oftentimes, agendas will be submitted before a meeting. This gives you an opportunity to become familiarized with the material.  If you’re confused about anything in particular, you can study the material and do your research.

If you do have pertinent, valuable information to contribute, practice a few key points before the meeting. If you’re printing statistics or any sort of documentation, make sure you bring enough copies for everyone. Becoming an active participant will give you the chance to be seen, heard and possibly make a lasting impression.

A positive approach

Surviving boardroom meetings begins by adjusting your mindset and taking a positive approach. Having an optimistic and a results oriented attitude can mark the difference between surviving and thriving.

Typically during board meetings, there’s time allocated for asking questions, which is your opportunity to be heard. Career Expert, Joel Garfinkle with Executive Coaching, who suggests the following:

“Share more of yourself at meetings. One of the best ways to build relationships is to let others know who you are. This can come by sharing your expertise, knowledge and personality at meetings. Other people will either get to know you, like you or want to hear more from you.”

With the right approach and attitude, boardroom meetings can take on a different meaning.  If we adjust our attitude to these gatherings, we can think of this time as more than merely hanging by the sidelines, but as a platform to offer your expert knowledge that may not have been otherwise heard.


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