Doing Your Best in a One-to-a-Few Meeting

You are meeting with an ensemble of two to five others in this situation; that’s why it’s called one-to-a-few. Pay attention to the group as a whole. Look for opportunities to take the lead, but don’t hold onto the reins unless it is expected.

Think of this interaction as a jazz band. There are standards, traditions of relating, that open opportunities for solos where one person takes the lead for a while. Concentrate as much on the traditions as the openings. In a group of this size, and all those larger, you are outnumbered. To succeed, you must lead as much as listen.

Set the pace and the focus. Call on others to fill in and make a statement. Don’t hog the show, but don’t relinquish leadership either. Every good band has a leader.

Take accountability for smooth functioning, and at the same time be prepared with something that is easily integrated into the rest of the conversation, yet boldly stands apart.

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