There is a great German saying: Ubung, Ubung machen Meister (translated into English) Practice, practice makes a master.
I often coach clients whose direct boss takes the spotlight/gametime from them, essentially relegating them to backup status.
These execs are ready to lead a portion of the client meeting but get put on the bench. They want to play!
The best way to guarantee playing time is to create a series of run-throughs with your boss. Let him/her see your ability to correctly choreograph the client meeting and deliver your part conversationally and persuasively.
Many organizations don’t respect the value of practice and it shows in their delivery. As you pace through each client meeting you are illustrating your understanding of the client’s issues, you are also edifying others who are part of the meeting at the same time.
It’s also important to show your depth of knowledge by anticipating the type of Q&A your team can expect at the meeting. Nail this part and you’re looking at home run potential! Put your voice to answering the questions so your boss can hear your authority on the subject. After that, you’ll have to be put in the game at the real meeting.
I just completed this exercise with a client and we both realized that my client was much closer to the core issues of the client than his boss was. He just needed to understand how to broach the subject so that his boss understood his goodwill and preparedness.He did that and was given plenty of time to speak his insight at the meeting.
Tired of riding the bench and want to see some action? The important question to ask is, “is this important to you?” If it is, then let your boss feel how prepared and ready your are when you speak about it. Put me in coach…I’m ready to play!
Try it and let me know.