Q: I am joining a meeting full of far higher grades than me and feel a bit intimidated by them. How can I contribute without feeling restrained?
A: Unless you are in a setting with a formal hierarchy, you shouldn’t let others’ seniority restrain you. Try not to be intimidated and to carry out your role in the meeting as you would with colleagues of a similar grade to you. Of course, you don’t want to appear cocky or arrogant, you want give out an aura of calm professionalism.
There are various mental tricks to help boost your self-confidence when dealing with more senior people, for example imagining them in an informal or even vulnerable setting, or in a situation where they need your help and expertise.