Professional Development

Power Play: Speak up in the meeting, not after it

Rose Herceg /

The truly influential in this world always say what they have to say then and there. Not before the meeting, not after it.

Power Players stay away from those ridiculous corridor chats and that look all buddy-buddy but deliver a grenade wrapped in silk.

If they have an issue or a problem, they spell it out once and precisely in a room where everyone is present.

Gossip has a strange way of becoming fact when it’s repeated many times. The Power Player limits the gossip by limiting the amount of information that she or he distributes outside the official channels.

It’s a gutsy move by any Power Player because it says that the place to voice opinion or concerns is when everyone is present, not behind someone’s back and not when someone is boozed up with tequila.

The story

I was in a tense meeting and a Player I adore took us through a controversial decision that head office had made. Everyone started to squirm and whisper, and the guy I adore did something rare.

He told everybody that they had 10 minutes to complain and moan and rant. He told them to turn to the person next to them and protest to their heart’s content.

After 10 minutes he called the room to order and said, “When we walk out of this room, we speak as one voice. The decision has been made and not a single one of us will complain about it beyond these doors. Not to other staff members, not to our clients, not to the press. Not one word. We leave every malicious and destructive thought in this room.”

I always thought that was one of the best ways to let people vent before asking them to leave the toxic vibe behind.  

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