You Don’t Have to “Speak Up” to Contribute to Meetings - Deepstash
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Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

There are a ton of ways to contribute to meetings that don’t involve having knowledge on the subject.

Some strategies to make valuable contributions in meetings in ways you might not have thought were valuable:

  • Redefine “value.” It isn’t always about expertise.
  • Take on the recorder role. It shows that you are a competent and attentive listener who knows how to connect the dots between ideas being discussed.
  • Own the follow-ups.  
  • State the obvious. Your colleagues in the meeting may have different backgrounds and experiences than yourself, so things that may seem obvious to you may not be for them.


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People Equate Speaking Up With Value

People Equate Speaking Up With Value

You don’t have to speak up in every single meeting to contribute to your team. Sometimes, active listening is necessary to give you the context you need to reflect and provide input in the future. Often, however, people equate value with “speaking up,” and if you struggle to do so, you may feel like you’re failing. This is especially common for people who are new to a team, or early in their careers, and are still building the confidence to match their enthusiasm.


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The Meeting: Four Major Roles

The Meeting: Four Major Roles

Traditionally, there are four major roles that can be filled in a meeting and each contributes value in an integral way:

The leader: This person convenes the meeting and leads the discussion on all major agenda items.

The timekeeper: This person keeps the meeting on track by allocating time to each agenda item.

The facilitator: This person keeps the discussion going by encouraging attendees to contribute and ensuring all items on the agenda are covered.

The recorder (scribe): This person takes notes on the items discussed as the meeting progresses and on the solutions reached.


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Take The Role Of The Recorder

Take The Role Of The Recorder

To successfully fill this role, you need to be able to quickly process information and record key insights from the meeting discussion in real-time. Young professionals, or employees who are new to a team, can develop this skill innately without necessarily having the same “insider” knowledge as their more seasoned team members.

During the meeting, taking on this responsibility will give you the chance to show that you are a competent and attentive listener who knows how to connect the dots between ideas being discussed. 


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Giving Context To Your Notes

Giving Context To Your Notes

To give your notes more context, you might ask:

  • What is most important to our key customers in this market segment?
  • Are there any unmet needs in this market segment that we can fill?
  • How do our current strategies need to evolve to prepare for new market entrants?


33 reads

Own The Follow-Ups

Own The Follow-Ups

  • Write a succinct summary: Key points from the meeting structured in a way that allows others to forward your message to anyone who missed the meeting or cares to know about what occurred.
  • Keep a key decisions registry. Create a table that lists which decisions were made in the meeting and with whose input, what the outcome of each decision was, and when that decision was made.
  • Record action items and next steps. Summarize actions items and clearly describe what the action item is, who owns it, and when it’s due.


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State the Obvious

The seemingly “obvious” points are “easy-win” contributions. They can be points said at the beginning of the conversation or a topic that help set the stage for further discussion and debate. They are points that leverage facts and data to help paint the current state of affairs. These points may seem “obvious” to you because they focus on what is known.

Your “obvious” point might actually be incredibly helpful in filling in gaps of knowledge across roles, teams, or departments.


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Mediation and midnfulness really do change your perspective on life, it did for me.


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