How to Bring Your Best Self to Business Meetings
You can make a great impression in business meetings even if you really don’t like speaking up.
You may be shocked at how many professionals dread the meeting environment… even if they may be the one who walks in as though they own the room.
The judgment of others gets under most people’s skin… even the potential judgment of others.
You see… that’s a mindset issue.
Before the meeting that you’re dreading, no one has judged you yet… and they may never judge you.
It’s all in your head.
The first step to bringing your best self to business meetings is to get over yourself and respect the boundaries of others.
Their thoughts (even if they are judging you, which is unlikely) are absolutely none of your business, so stop letting their (fictional) thoughts rent space in your very valuable head.
Judgment is the top element people dread about business meetings; that includes feeling as though you’ve said something stupid or in some way made a bad impression.
The other major things that cause people to dread business meetings are:
- That overpowering communicator who never lets you get a word in
- Feeling rushed and unprepared
- Being unsure of the timing during which you should speak
- Lack of confidence in your strengths
Let’s get on board with something: you’re not going anywhere above where you are right now unless you can boost your presence in meetings.
Here’s your success guide:
- Ditch the pre-meeting jitters. Instead of interpreting those butterflies in your stomach to be signs of your own incompetence, take a deep breath (literally) and thank your central nervous system and subconscious mind for getting you psyched up and prepared for awesomeness.
What you do with that energy is entirely up to you.
You can tell your conscious mind how to interpret this; allowing yourself to be psyched out by it is your own problem.
This mindset shift can take you from a state of terror to being terrific.
- The early bird gets whatever the hell he wants.
I’m not a huge fan of eating worms, so that’s the way I’ve altered that adage.
Book meetings in your calendar to begin 5 minutes before they actually begin.
This allows you to get to the meeting place and become acclimated before it starts.
Personally, I like to show up and meditate in the meeting space for a few minutes if possible.
It really helps me get centered and feel as though the meeting really does belong to me, and that I belong in it.
- If you’re nervous about speaking, get it over with early.
If the meeting is worthwhile, you’ll know the agenda ahead of time.
Find the place where your comments fit in, plan them in your head and then JUST DO IT.
When you are extremely anxious about this, “just do it” seems impossible.
If that’s you and you’re serious about overcoming it, then schedule a breakthrough session with us to discuss your options.
- Embrace introversion as a superpower!
Introverts are should use their superpower of high observation to ask meaningful questions and take moments to show support of others.
No matter how soft-spoken you are, a thoughtfully delivered follow-up comment can position you not only as a team player but as a leader.
As far as powerful questions go- think about it this way… most people do not listen to the full statements of others: halfway through someone’s statement or presentation, they’ve formed an opinion and are already chewing through that opinion meaning they are no longer listening.
But you are… you clever introvert.
Following up on someone’s presentation or statement with a thoughtful question will also position you as a leader in addition to being insightful, interested, interesting, and a team player.
Everybody wins, and you’ve showcased your strengths… especially your introversion.
That’s a strength if you allow it to be.
- Get a 10 from the Russian judge on your dismount.
This means that regardless of your participation in the meeting, taking action first after it is over will position you positively and as a leader.
Send notes from the meeting for review by the other participants, and move forward in any action steps that are within your area.
You can master business meetings.
There’s one big thing we have left out, and that’s because it’s coming up in our next blog edition…
What about pointless meetings?
You know… those meetings that you get to and think “why was this not an email?”
…or maybe you think that beforehand?
Those are even worse.
If that sounds familiar, subscribe to our blog blast so you can get notified when next week’s blog drops.
You’ll get our fail-safe “pointless meeting avoidance” policy.
This can help you make company history and be hailed as a hero… don’t miss it!
Also- check out this week’s Youtube video for more about bringing your best self to meetings.