Meetings – Still an Invitee or Already an Attendee?
Meetings – Still an Invitee or Already an Attendee?
Last week I told you about the first steps to successful meetings and starting from scratch, you can read it here. I was focusing on the meeting organiser or inviter. Today I’m changing the perspective and focusing on the invitee or attendee of a meeting. First of all, you are an invitee, as you receive an invitation to a meeting. Once you’ve accepted the invitation and go to the meeting you become an attendee.
Is this right for me and am I the right person?
The answers to these questions clearly depend on your time, the reason for the meeting, and whether you can contribute or not. Those three aspects can transform you from an invitee to an attendee. Let’s assume you’ve just received an invitation to a meeting. It’s from someone you’ve met before at a different meeting. Your first should be whether the invitation includes all necessary information, e.g. does it include an agenda, does it say what your role is in this meeting or why it is important that you take part.
If the invitation does include the information needed, then you can accept the invitation. Depending on your role for this meeting, your preparations will differ. Have you been asked to be a contributor, a minute taker or a visual or graphic recorder or possibly a decision maker? Once your role is clear you can start your meeting preparations.
How do I prepare for a meeting?
Assuming you’re a contributor, depending on the topic you might need to gather all kind of bits of information to give an update or an informed point of view to help the the other attendees with their task. It’s important to focus on how you want to communicate your task so the others will understand you from two points of view:
1. The language point of view – please take these questions into consideration:
- Do the participants have about the same language levels?
- Will you have difficulties understanding other attendees because of different language levels or cultural influences?
2. The content point of view –
- Is it a complex topic?
- Do you need to inform the others and explain with more details or are they in the same field?
Here are three simple yet effective strategies you can use to get your point across and understand other attendees:
If and when possible use visuals to explain your point. As you know, a picture says more than a thousand words.
Ask questions to help you understand and the other attendee to explain his or her point of view.
Rephrase what you’ve understood. Sometimes when we don’t understand what someone has said we just ask them to repeat their message. This isn’t always helpful, as they might just use the same words. Instead, take control and say what you’ve understood with your own words like this you can clarify any vague assumptions.
Who are the other participants?
In case you haven’t met the other invitees or attendees before, find out who they are, what they do and what their role is in this meeting. Look at it as an opportunity to make new contacts. Possibly you have worked together with a few of them before and can tell if there might be any language or mindset challenges.
Not enough information
Remember at the beginning we assumed, you had all the necessary information to accept the invitation. Well, if that was’t the case then let’s talk about the fastest and best way to clarify why you should attend, what the meeting is about and what role you should be playing in it. Please do not hit the reply to all button asking these questions. Instead pick up the phone and call the person, who has invited you in the first place or if you work in the same building then go and visit him or her at their desk or cubicle. Thank them for the invitation, tell them you’d be happy to contribute to the meeting’s success and find out why they invited you. Possibly you’re not the right person, however, you know who is and you can make a suggestion.
So, there you have it!
In my opinion, those are the aspects to focus on when you’re an invitee or attendee. What’s your opinion? Drop me a line or just schedule a call with me click here to schedule a call and tell me about it. Are you interested in other business English skills? Then check out the post about listening here and about using your voice effectively here.
One more thing
We’d like to thank you for tuning in and downloading our podcast. We’d love to hear more from you. Most importantly you can help us by rating us on iTunes and if you like leave a review. By doing that you’ll help us get a bigger reach. We know that rating us takes up your time and that’s why we’ve decided to raffle three books among all of you who rate us on iTunes.
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These are the books you can win: Atomic Habits by James Clear, Denglish for Better Knowers by Adam Fletcher and Paul Hawkins and Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. We’ve been told to prolong the raffle. You can participate till April 12. 2019. We will make the draw on 3 May 2019. Good luck!