Take a Seat at the Table

Ok, so you’ve finally got a seat at the table, but your seat feels slightly small. Maybe, you’re sitting in for your manager or subbing in for a senior colleague. This could be a fantastic opportunity to impact and influence. This is what I describe as your “knowledge seat.” You know that saying going around in technology these days,  “knowledge is power and power is knowledge.” With this power is all about where you allow yourself to sit with the group.

Opportunities like this improve confidence while highlighting your influence, impact, and can help solidify your career. We tend to look to our manager or those who lead to tell us what, when, who, and more importantly how to show up for work. Stop. Take your seat prepared. Do your homework. As I said, knowledge inspires confidence (in you and from others who already have a seat at the table). Carefully review agendas, add to the programme if need be. Talk to your peers to get up to speed on unfamiliar topics. Seek out a mentor. Prepare yourself beyond expectations. Awareness and learn what you must do to lead effectively in this scenario. Now, you might be asking yourself, how do I take the seat at the table?

Well, if you find yourself just sitting in for a meeting, take that opportunity and speak with your manager about using this as career development and to contribute by bringing up new ideas. This could lead to a longer term; you’ll have a window to showcase even more of your capabilities. Take time to share your ideas offline in your one-on-ones and those who you may want to manage someday about their thoughts in which you could help build a bridge and make a change positively. Ask your colleagues to help you fine-tune your ideas and if you present, have them add their thought on the presentation. This will provide you with the confidence and the idea that it will have a more significant impact on those at the table.

If you want the seat at the table, you’ll most likely need to speak up. Often people tend to waste their opportunity to take a seat at the table because they don’t make their voice heard. If you want to make a difference and positive change, don’t be afraid to bring your great insights, share your truth, and be vulnerable. Remember you’re there because of your expertise and insight. They want you to take a seat. The last thing they want you to do is nod in agreement with whatever is said. Even if this is a temporary situation, it’s an opportunity to build strong and lasting connections.

Below are some tips for developing your lasting relationships that help build your confidence with business teams.

Bring your knowledge, passion, and facts

Come ready and prepared. Show your value-add, and what you want to offer. Take the initiative and presenting your ideas for how to drive solutions. It’s also crucial that you show how it will benefit your hiring teams and your recruiting team; always leading with solutions.

Be available 

It creates a sense of comfort and reliability to know your team is easily available, to know that they will always be there when needed and to know that they have a strong sense of the day-to-day pulse.

Think and act like an owner

Keeping the big picture in mind, helping the team to make balanced, holistic decisions based on the more significant impact that all may have. Remember, part of recruiting you’re there to drive the company forward with a unified perspective.

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Be the champion

Your team needs to know that you have their backs. The hiring teams need to know that you understand them and their goals and that you will be that champion for their purposes. Come to work every day with the passion of moving the company forward.

Make it personal 

It’s easy to get focused on the numbers, however, to build a solid foundation, you need to spend time getting to know each team member. Despite all that you have to do in your day, it is essential to carve out time to connect on a deeper level. By making this more of personal investment and time to get to know people on a personal level, it’ll help you (and them) gain knowledge and creating a level of understanding, trust, and fun.

Kay Kelison

Kay Kelison is a respected social media strategist and a principal sourcer who has been in the recruiting industry over fourteen years. She currently works as a Principal Researcher / Trainer for Zillow Group where she partners with both business and recruiting functions to build candidate pipelines, develop targeted sourcing plans, build and manage successful sourcing initiatives, and manage customer/partner expectations. Additionally, she is involved in the developing and managing diversity recruiting efforts through social networking platforms on websites including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Kay is an open networker and encourages you to connect with her.