Have you ever come out of a meeting completely deflated?Sure, there may have been great input, feedback, and perspective. And the intentions of the person (or people) in the room may have been good. (Or maybe it was just the opposite!) Regardless of what it was, something in it just left you feeling a little empty. Well, it just happened to me. As I dissect it, replaying the minutes in my head, I heard my inner voice telling me…
What was I thinking?! Why did I ask for that meeting?
Clearly, it wasn’t me. They’re to blame.
Maybe it was me! Opportunity, down the drain. Well done!
That inner voice can be a bastard, can’t it? So what to do? The best advice I can offer is be aware (and accept) what you are feeling, look at it as an opportunity, be willing to take some kind of action to remedy how you’re feeling, and then take action.
What does this mean for me?
My first step was to go back to my company’s (and my own) core values. Doing so allows me to look at things through the lens of what is truly important to me, the DNA of my beliefs and actions. Three in particular resonate right now: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” (analyze, but not too much, and then be action oriented), “I have a glass,” (this is an opportunity to learn) and, “Try. Try. Try!” (be a problem solver, maximize the situation).
Next, I asked myself a few key questions, including:
What role did I play?
What did I want to get out of the meeting? Was I clear enough in advance?
How could have it gone differently? What would have made the difference?
In answering these questions, here are some tips that I developed to make things go better in the future. (Take note, you can use these not only when setting up a meeting, but also when you are invited to attend.)
- Have a clear idea of why you want to have the meeting.
- Define an objective for the meeting.
- Develop an agenda, even if it’s loose and only in your head.
- Have an idea of what you want to get out of the meeting.
- Know the critical things you want to say, communicate, or ask.
- Listen. Rather, be present and actively listen.
- Make sure to note any action items that come up.
- If anything hasn’t been answered, ask!
- End the meeting when it’s done. Don’t linger for the sake of lingering.
- Follow up. If appropriate, say thank you!
Bonus tip: Set the intention to make your next meeting better than the last.