, 13 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Tuesday Tweet thread! Today's is a small career or leadership advice thread and my advice is to argue at, and never just attend, a meeting. Remember: argue, not attend ...
First, just attending a meeting, sitting there passively or whatever can be just the worst. Good chance it's a waste of your time, and if you're not contributing, no-one is getting the benefit of your insight, expertise, point of view, etc.
Speaking up and contributing can be intimidating, you're pulling focus, stealing attention, and you might say something wrong!
Please know that if you are the kind of person that naturally holds back at meetings, you are already smarter, and more empathetic, than the brazen fools who feel no such inclination. One of life's ironies is that we all need to hear more from you, than them. sigh.
Assholes might speak over you, cut-you-off, repeat your own words and get more attention. There are many small meeting injustices. But it's worth building the internal steel to combat this. Seek buddies who can reinforce and amplify if needed.
O.k. so why do I say argue and not attend? Meetings are actually an incredible scaling super-tool, but only if you learn to use them as a tool and not a burden. That means making arguments and getting conflict out, in a healthy and respectful way.
You have good ideas for the world. Argue for those ideas, come with an agenda, make your case! If you convince people, they will help you achieve your goals. It's that simple.
So for example; imagine you are preparing a document or presentation for a meeting. It's good to be unbiased and neutral in laying out data and background, but it's critical to also take a position on what to do ... and argue for it.
Arguing for it means considering the perspectives of everyone in the room. What will their unique concerns be and how can you convince them? What past traumas of theirs do you need to assuage and avoid? What passions can you tap?
If you hear something you disagree with at a meeting; a wrong data point, an anecdote that seems wrong, or just a position you don't agree with the strategy on. Speak up! Let's get it out. Argue in the room.
Argue with respect. If you detect even a hint of resentment or anger, make sure you are really listening; then restate *their* argument back to them, in the absolute most favorable terms. Absolutely convince them you heard them. Agree on that. Then make your argument.
Every meeting is an opportunity to move the world forward with the help of others. If you argue well, people are going to leave the room believing in, and executing your ideas. *That's* how to be 10x engineer.
One last note: yes, speaking up can being forthright can backfire for women and minority groups, mainly in the presence of total assholes and toxic cultures. I don't have a systematic fix for that, but if you're a privileged senior leader: cut that shit off when you see it.
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