2 April 2024

Burnishing your meeting mindset

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people sitting around an office table

You should be excited about the opportunity to show what you have to offer. Photo: Wellineux.

May Busch says before you go into an important meeting with senior stakeholders present, you must rid yourself of the anxious thoughts that may hold you back from contributing and showing your potential.

I shared some advice in a recent article on raising your profile and visibility about speaking up in the first 30 seconds of a meeting.

On reflection, I got a little ahead of myself, because there’s a foundational skill you must master before you even go into the meeting – your meeting mindset.

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Why is this so important? It is because your thinking affects your behaviour, which affects your results.

Take a moment to consider this question: How is your current meeting mentality impacting your performance? Is it pushing you towards your career goals? Or is it holding you back with thoughts like: “Everyone’s judging me; I’m bound to mess up; why should anyone want to listen to me?”

Do you always think there are way smarter people in the room and you might sound stupid? Do you worry about looking bad in front of your manager? If these self-doubts sound familiar, it’s time for a creative reframe.

For me, I’ve always loved speaking on stage in front of a crowd. It was the internal meetings I found intimidating.

When I reframed meetings as being ”on stage”, it transformed how I felt about them. I naturally prepared more for my ”performance”, enjoyed the process, and came away with better results.

So, instead of letting anxious thoughts hold you back from contributing, consider these empowering alternatives:

“My team or client is counting on me to speak on their behalf”: Focus on the work you’re there to do, instead of on any doubts or worries you might have about yourself.

“I have valuable insights to share with this group”: Instead of putting pressure on yourself to ”perform” at meetings, think of them as places where you get to share your perspective.

“Meetings are a great platform for me to show what I am capable of”: This is particularly true if there are senior stakeholders present who may not normally get to see you in action. Get excited about the opportunity to show your potential and impress them.

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Before your next meeting, take a few minutes to prepare yourself mentally so you can make an impact. Use these reframing thoughts and watch your confidence grow.

How will you reframe your approach to meetings so you can add more value and make an impact?

May Busch’s mission is to help leaders and their organisations achieve their full potential. She works with smart entrepreneurs and top managements to build their businesses. She can be contacted at [email protected]. This article first appeared on May’s blogsite.

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