How to Master Your Meetings
Business, Leadership, Meetings, Unspoken
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How to Master Your Meetings

What’s my role in this meeting?

As a junior employee, you can expect to play one of three unspoken roles in meetings:

BE BOTH SEEN AND HEARD. The meetings where you are expected to be both seen and heard are generally smaller, are internal to the team, or involve topics that you’ve been working on. The more work experience you have, the more knowledgeable you are on a certain topic, the less hierarchical a team you work for, and the smaller your meetings are (allowing for the spotlight to be shared among everyone), the more you will have this role in meetings.

If you are invited to a small meeting about a project you are working on, consider asking your manager if there is anything you should prepare. Sometimes, your manager might even say, “You know what? You should present this. You are more familiar with the details anyway.” And just like that, a new door of opportunity opened up.

BE SEEN BUT NOT HEARD. The meetings where you are expected to be seen but not heard are generally larger in-person meetings or videoconferences that involve more higher-ups, outside clients, or topics outside of your swimlane. You’ll have this role more often if you work in a hierarchical environment where only the higher-ups speak in meetings. In these cases, everyone junior will usually sit quietly, listen, take notes, or speak only if asked. In more-hierarchical workplaces, often the more junior people will sit by the wall or at the end of the table.