I've been speaking to a number of Human Resources professionals groups lately and sharing my speech: How Does HR Get A Respected Seat at the Strategic Planning Table? As I contemplated what to blog about today, I thought I'd keep it simple and share advice from my book Don't Let 'Em Treat You Like a Girl®: A Woman's Guide to Leadership Success that links to ideas shared in my speech. In a nutshell, if you're at the table: Demonstrate you belong at the table!
If you're not an active contributor to a team, why are you on it? If you want to be on a team, you need to maintain your right to be there. Don't relinquish your spot.
Have you ever been in a meeting and you've shared an idea, but no one pays any attention to it? Yet ten minutes later when Fred says basically the same thing, the boss and everyone jumps at the idea praising him for his brilliance! Grrr! Because you're so frustrated, you sit back in your chair, fold your arms and think to yourself, "That was my idea! No one ever listens to me around here. I don't even know why they invite me to these meetings. They never pay attention to anything I say anyway. I might as well not even be here."
Stop playing the victim. You just reverted to behaving like a pouty child. By sitting back and having a silent hissy fit, you just became a non-contributing member of that team, and therefore, you just relinquished your spot at that conference room table.
Instead of getting angry, pouting and relinquishing your spot, do your job and maintain your position at that table. When your initial comment fell on deaf ears, tell yourself it wasn't the right idea at the right time. However, when Fred says what you had said earlier, instead of shutting down, speak up. Say something along the lines of, "Fred thank you for bringing this up again! This is what I was trying to share earlier when I said... Let me explain that a bit more...". Retake ownership of your idea.
When others state what you tried to convey, retake ownership of your ideas.