Why leaders should be the last to speak during meetings

For meetings to be effective and achieve their goals, employees should be encouraged to speak ahead of managers and leaders.
By: | February 7, 2023

Are you preparing to lead a business meeting with a group of subordinates? The best thing you could probably do, is to start by saying nothing.

For meetings to be effective and achieve its goals, managers and leaders should always speak last in business meetings, says Lauren Sanchez, Founder of aerial filming company Black Ops Aviation.

She is also the girlfriend of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is a keen advocate of managers not speaking first during meetings.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Sanchez said, “I hold a lot of meetings, and I would talk first in a meeting, and [Bezos] goes, ‘No, no, no. You’re the boss. You talk last. You let everyone else talk, so that they don’t get swayed by your opinion.”

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Bezos also had the habit of kicking off meetings with about 30 minutes of silence, where attendees were required to read a detailed memo covering the planned discussion points. To prevent them from echoing his opinions, the attendees were then asked to offer their thoughts on the memo before Bezos spoke.

Lastly, avoid falling into the pitfall of spending too much unnecessary time on meetings, as Sanchez shared, “Keep meetings under an hour, if you can.”