Ever been to a meeting lately and wondered why a few attendees never spoke a word? Ever been to meetings and wondered why these attendees never speak at all? Ever wondered why some of these attendees are there in the first place?! Worse still, ever wondered if you are one such ‘Phantom’ in the room!?!

We are flooded with meeting requests and spend an incredible time in these mind-numbing settings. There are clearly some situations where one may not have an opinion or viewpoint to share. But, it is remarkable how many executives simply do not understand the importance of making their presence felt in a more memorable way. These are the phantoms, the ghosts who don’t talk!

Their rationale are many –

–   I don’t want to come across as outspoken

–  My views will not be accepted

–  I am intimidated by the senior leaders in the room

–  There are so many opinions already to consider; why one more?

–  I am an introvert.

Organisations hire a diverse set of people to bring out the best of ideas, opinions and solutions to overcome their challenges. While there are exceptional times when everyone’s opinion is not required, it is pertinent that executives position themselves with meaningful and well thought out views.

Being a phantom is clearly counter-productive to the individual as well as the organisation. The organization may not get the best ideas or solutions, decisions may be delayed without collective views, execution may be affected when faced with road-blocks and teams have to go back to the drawing board, and so on.

Personally, the phantoms will not be noticed or recognized, they will grow more extinct than distinct, they may be too slow or late to voice an important opinion, teams will not regard or respect them and, they will easily be overshadowed by those more vocal in the room. It’s time to arise as the ‘ghost who talks!’