There is always a choice at the meeting. Will you deliver professional contributions or just what feels required to get by?
The first time with a seat at the table and you may choose to just observe. Once acquainted with the audience you may proceed with caution but you’re optimistic. It is placing a toe in the water.
What is your long-term contribution?
People don’t know what they don’t know.
We’ve all heard, “Ignorance is bliss.”
There may be some truth to that idea. When you don’t know the background, the skeletons, or what has been sent to the graveyard and by whom, you’ll just openly contribute. You don’t know the history.
Your intentions are often good, yet, sometimes you learn that the outcomes are not so good. You regroup, hold things tighter to the vest, and become more calculated.
In other cases, you learn what people want you to say.
In the meeting, you respond to the affirmative. You agree, you do not tactfully challenge or question.
Decisions are made. It seems everyone agrees.
After the meeting, in a more private conversation, you truthfully admit the decision seems like a bad idea.
Why did you agree?
You have at least three choices.
The first choice is to arrive unfiltered. Arrive with innocence and express your best thoughts. Enter with the excitement and enthusiasm of involvement without the history.
It is the spirit of the novice. Sometimes, it is refreshing.
Your second choice is to arrive as a professional, making professional contributions.
You’ve studied the data, you know the history, and you’ll be brave enough and vulnerable enough to take greater risk. The risk isn’t personal, it’s professional.
Risk means you’ll push for what is right, do the right thing, serve the client, ask the customer, and deliver what is promised.
Unfortunately, sometimes the third option is the easiest. Just agree and move on. Meeting over.
Doing what is right is worth more than doing what is easy.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.