As a meeting’s thought-leader, or be seen as a decision-maker or arbiter, chime in last.
On an important topic, hear everyone out and withhold your judgments until the end. By speaking first, you’ll cast undue influence over the proceedings.
When you’re ready to speak, restate the meeting’s purpose. Call attention to the essential decision to be made. Acknowledge everyone’s points and counterpoints. Push for the next steps.
Spread your thanks liberally—acknowledge the contributions everyone has made. Be prepared to concede tangents, pitfalls, or different perspectives and points of view.
Concentrate on the outcome. It’s the result that matters, not your role in it.
Idea for Impact: Best of all, speaking last empowers you to incorporate the best of what’s been said and be diplomatic about appealing to everyone’s interests. Chiming in last also allows you to manage the alignment of everyone’s expectations and evade unanticipated criticisms of your viewpoints.