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Develop Allies To Help Get Your Voice Heard

  • 7th Aug'21

Having trouble being heard in meetings? Enlist allies. When I was elected to my first public board at 42, I was the youngest member by a wide margin. I found it challenging at times for my points to be latched onto and discussed. So I decided to use a technique I honed in Japan, have the meeting before the meeting. 

The board materials were distributed in advance. So instead of waiting until the meeting to raise a point, I’d discuss it with a board member that I’d developed a good relationship beforehand. If he agreed with my point, I’d ask him to weigh in when I brought it up in the meeting. This worked quite well. I’d make my point and he would reinforce it and then the discussion would ensue. 

Find an ally and ask for their support to reinforce your comments. As long as you are making quality contributions, eventually, your stature will build and you won’t need the reinforcement. 

The other way to develop support is to give it. In regular meetings, when you agree with a point made, reinforce it, acknowledging the person who made it in the first place by name and adds why you believe it is a good point. Many people who feel you’ve supported them in the past, will likewise support you when they agree. You have to be judicious and can’t reinforce everything or the value is lost. 

Business is a team sport. So develop allies to help you get your voice heard. 


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