Beyond Showing Up: Did You Change the Outcome?
It’s tempting and comforting to put in an appearance and do what is anticipated of you: nod, take notes, and enjoy the refreshments and leave. Being negative should not imply actively pulling down only. If you’re not putting in the effort to add something, it’s equivalent to actively taking something away. It hurts all of us.
If you always show up and do just what you’re expected to do, you’re only faintly different from the guy who never shows up. It’s when you make a contribution that changes the outcome of the day, the meeting, the project, that you will be borne in mind and appreciated. Humans by nature respect and adore individuals who do more beyond just showing up.
There’s a cost for your inclusion: there’s the monetary cost, and also the cost of lost opportunity by the other person who does not get a seat at the table. If you don’t put something on the table, you’ve wasted the space for someone who could have left something on the table.
Whenever you’re invited for a brainstorming session, a townhall, a project meeting, your invitation comes at the cost of someone who is asked to stay away. Again, someone pays for the space, the water and other logistics that are needed to make the meeting work. The least expected from you is to listen and take notes, but to pay back the cost of excluding other folks for your sake and logistics, you’re expected to do more than listen and take notes. You’re expected to change the outcome of the meeting. Someone should say ‘you changed the outcome’
It’s admirable to show up but take it to the next level. Ask these about the last meeting, brainstorming, discussion, Q&A time etc:
- Did I ask any questions that would not be ask if I were not present?
- Did I offer to perform any task that made life easier for another person?
- Was there anything I could have done beyond being a member, an invitee, or just showing up?
If you can apply this principle to you career and personal life, you will begin to see remarkable progress in several areas.