3 lessons learned by sitting at the table

I am an introvert by nature. So talking for the sake of talking and having unnecessary meetings are a waste of time in my book.
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I am an introvert by nature. So talking for the sake of talking and having unnecessary meetings are a waste of time in my book. That’s precisely why when I was asked today if I wanted to sit in on a meeting with a potential vendor, I politely declined. I knew that the meeting would be a bunch of schmoozing . Honestly, I have better things to do with my time, like designing and planning for next season.

I’m reading the book ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg (I know I’m late, but I just got to it). One thing she emphasizes in the text is that women don’t sit at the table. Most play their ‘position’ and look in from a distance as a by stander. Why? why did I say no? Aside from meetings being such a drain of energy, they also make me uncomfortable because most times I’m put on the spot and I have to think off the top of my head. I’VE BEEN AVOIDING THIS for years and I know that I’m doing it. But I like to think things out before I speak and meetings don’t give me that luxury.

But, this is the year I am taking on doing things that make me uncomfortable, or things that I wouldn’t normally do. So I went to the ladies room, fixed my gaylay (headwrap) through on some lip gloss and went to the meeting. Turn’s out, the owner of the company, the VP of Sales and the VP of Production were all in the room discussing a new program that they wanted to launch with this vendor. Now if I hadn’t gone, being that I am now the lead on this new product venture, I wouldn’t have understood the scope of the project, I would have heard about it through second hand information and probably at the last minute like a day before the presentation. So what lessons can we take away from this?

  1. Things are never as bad as you think they are going to be.
  2. You can contribute to whatever situation you’re in planned or unplanned.
  3. Show up and sit at the table, even if you don’t want to!

So when is the last time you said no to doing something you know you should do because the thought of it made you uncomfortable? Leave your thoughts in the comments, I would love to hear about it.

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4 Responses

  1. I was invited to walk/audition as a model this week coming. I am a connessoiur of color via the use of brushes ( aka a makeup artist ). It’s my job to make everyone else pretty for the camera, that’s not where I belong. The encouragement continues to flow yet I am resistant for all of my reasons/excuses. After reading this article, I choose to not only go as a MUA but to show up and be present as a model.

    1. I’m glad you decided to go through with it! Most situations can open up new doors, ones that may not have been available if you didn’t show up! I love it 🙂 – thank you for sharing.

  2. I was invited to a lunch meeting with my manager’s boss. I was so upset that I was invited because I really do not get along with this man and I dislike his leadership approach. Plus we had a very rocky first meeting. But I bit my tongue and went to the meeting, which was a lot better than I thought it would be. In fact, I’ve set up another meeting with him so we can try to move forward and strengthen my position within the company. I think it took him some time but he is finally realizing my talents and ability to contribute to the company. Had I followed my first thought and declined the meeting, I wouldn’t have been given the platform to have a second. So I agree with you, you have to allow yourself to sit at the table. Our imaginations lead us to fear our reality, which is never as bad as we think…

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