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November 3, 2015

Barriers Communicators Face #9 - Limited Access and No Presence at the Table

It’s hard to get your leader involved in the communication process when you can’t get on your leader’s calendar or can’t get a seat at the decision-making table.


Here are ways you can recognize, respond and act when it’s hard to get face time with your leader.

If you’re caught in this situation, you’ve probably heard things like:

• “I don’t think you need to be at that meeting.”

• “This meeting is comprised of senior-level folks.”

• “We’ll bring you in the loop later.”

Approach your leader by communicating why it’s important that you’re at the table:

• “I think I can help you get out in front of this situation much more quickly if I hear everything first hand.”

• “To be able to help you best, here’s what I need from you…”

• “Here’s why my attendance at this meeting would help me help you.”

• “If I weren’t able to attend this meeting, here’s how it would affect my ability to support you.”

Take things one step at a time:

Make sure you’re well-versed in your leader’s business goals, so you can position the value of your presence in terms of those goals. Using the language of your leader and of your business increases the chances that you’ll be heard.

• Pick and choose the meeting(s) you must be at to best support the executive based on his or her priorities.

• Make the most of the time you have with the leader and demonstrate the value you’ve provided.

• Explain consequences in terms of time, money and resources being wasted.

• Demonstrate clear, measurable value when you’re at the table. The value you provide in what you say and do will speak volumes.

• Summarize the meeting by speaking to what’s been accomplished

How will you implement these strategies with your leader?

-David Grossman


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