It doesn’t matter how creative you are, if you can’t communicate your vision to decision makers, you’ll forever be relegated to a supporting role. Like all communication, talking to busy people is all about empathy for the other person’s goals and priorities.

Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins write about the issue for the Harvard Business Review, using a client named Jason as an example:

Jason often got mired in the details when communicating with higher level colleagues, and therefore missed opportunities to share his insights. To stop this from happening, he started to prepare two to three key messages before every meeting, and made sure to focus on how his group’s analytical work drove value for the organization. In essence, Jason conditioned himself for the expected, leaving his “thinking on his feet” energy for those situations that were least predictable.

Even if you’re the youngest person at the table, you’re at the table. Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard. Just make it count.

  • Eli J. Pacheco

    I love this message. I vow to not leave a meeting next week without having added something to it. Why else would I be there, than to learn and contribute?

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