We've all been there. First time in a one on one meeting with your boss. First time in a brainstorming session. First time in a staff meeting. First time with the new leadership team. Whether your 1st meeting ever as a young intern, a newly hired greenie, or seasoned pro who is new to the team, there are some keys to how you should approach the environment of a 1st time meeting.
1. Don't try to be the expert. Reality is, you're probably not. Make others in the room around you the expert.
2. Ask lots of questions. This is your entry point for any meeting, at any level. Good questions give you instant credibility. And many times are more strategic than the right answer.
3. Don't feel like you have to give any answers. While asking good questions, don't feel the need to provide answers in response. Immediate answer givers can quickly become annoying and overbearing.
4. Be curious and engaging. Look people in the eye. Engage with everyone around the table and in the room. Encourage others ideas.
5. Take a posture of learning. Be the most interested. Listen really well.
6. Get coffee. Or drinks. Or snacks. This shows you are okay with serving everyone else. Whether young or old, you've never too old or young to wait on others.
7. Write it down. Whether you're the official "note taker" or not, writing things down shows honor to those around you, plus writing it down and taking notes creates accountability for you and helps you remember next steps.
8. Push for clarity, and move towards execution. Direct the meeting and overall conversation towards execution and completion. The goal of a meeting is to make things happen, so do your part in moving that way.
9. Act like you don't belong, but work like you do. This is a good rule for any meeting, and your overall leadership in general.