Dear Jane: I Don't Speak Up in Meetings

by 352admin 28. February 2013 12:09

Dear JaneDear Jane,

I have been asked to be on the committee that will plan the next firm retreat. There are a number of partners in the group, including my practice group leader who is in a different office from me.  I really do not have anything to add so most meetings I just sit and listen.

Signed,

I’m Just An Associate

 

Dear I’m Just An Associate,

You have to find a way to meaningfully participate in these meetings or this “opportunity” will have a negative impact on the perception of your credibility.  You were asked to be on the committee because someone found you credible and wanted to give you a platform for visibility.  Take advantage of that opportunity.  Here are some ideas of how to do just that: 

• Prepare for the meetings so you feel more comfortable participating in the discussion.

• When a partner volunteers for a task at a meeting, offer to assist him/her in completing the task.

• Call your practice group leader before the meeting and talk about what his/her agenda is and ask how you can assist him/her in achieving the agenda.

Jane DiRenzo Pigott is the managing director of R3 Group LLC, specializing in working with professional service organizations on leadership and change in connection with diversity and inclusion. Before founding R3 Group, she practiced law for more than two decades at large law firms where she chaired a practice group, served on the executive management and compensation committees, and founded and ran diversity initiatives and affinity groups.

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Career Advice | Dear Jane

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