Reflection Between Meetings: Enter the meeting with curiosity and overview
This where you get concrete help to reflect between your meetings during the day.
I invite you to investigate 3 feelings in this audio-reflection. The one you have right now - before the meeting. Then the feeling you need during the meeting to meet your role and reach your goal, and lastly, I invite you to choose the most appropriate feeling for entering the meeting – your opening-feeling.
(The questions for reflection start 2,38 minutes into the audio file.)
When we are in meetings, our spoken words affect only a small part of what is actually communicated and perceived. Our body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, etc. take up at least as much space as our words, and they emerge from our emotions and feelings.
Inside the brain you have what we call mirror neurons - a kind of neurons that constantly read and mirror themselves in other people's brain cells. This is relatively new neuroscience; thus, we don't know much about the mirror neurons yet. But what we do know is that when you begin to discover your own and other people's feelings in a meeting room, your curiosity increases as well as your overview and your impact.
You can change your brain chemistry when you consciously change your thoughts and feelings. And that change is perceived by other people's mirror neurons. Usually unconsciously.
And remember that you own your feelings. You can never take responsibility for other people's feelings. And you cannot impose your own feelings on others.
Your feelings are messengers. When you discover a feeling, you can manage it. Undiscovered feelings are managing you - and this can be annoying if, for example, you are a bit anxious before a meeting.
You can't just get rid of an unpleasant feeling - it usually just becomes it stronger, when you try to stop it. Instead, you can accept it and replace it with another feeling.
If you don't know how to feel before a meeting, you can always start by being deliberately calm and curious. This starting point equips you to discover your own and other people's feelings more quickly.
Use the questions below to discover and adjust your feelings between meetings:
First feeling (now):
- What are you feeling right now?
Do you feel calm, uneasiness, anxiety, anger, joy, bitterness, thirst for revenge, admiration, desire to create something big, courage, and do you feel strong or weak...
Take a moment of awareness. Just 10 seconds of conscious attention can give you
invaluable knowledge before a meeting. And remember that a feeling you have discovered, is a feeling that you can manage.
Notice your feeling and remember that it is a kind of messenger for you. What is the feeling trying to tell you?
Just take your time to identify it.
Feel free to pause the audio file and accept what you find. It is just a messenger.
Second feeling (in the meeting):
Now we turn our focus to the meeting
- Which meeting are you preparing for?
- What is your role in the meeting?
- How would you like to be perceived by the others in the meeting?
- What do you want them to think about you when the meeting is over?
- Which emotion helps you here?
- Is it calm, strength? Do you need a non-judgmental approach and to be more curious? Maybe you need a little bit of anger or irritation to stand your ground. Do you need courage, joy, optimism, or perhaps some pessimism?
- What about humour? Do you normally use humour in your meetings? Does humour even fit into this meeting?
Think about it for a while and figure out what you need.
Now lower your shoulders and breathe deeply while you choose the feeling that helps you the best in the meeting. (This is the feeling you chose a moment ago.) You can smile a little if you need joy and optimism. You can also pinch your eyes a bit if you need some anger.
If you want to be curious and non-judgmental, and you need to know something before you decide your next feeling then open your eyes wide up. This will help you to see more in the meeting.
Sense the feeling you expect to need at the meeting.
- Where is your feeling located? Is it in the stomach, in your shoulders, in your back, or maybe in your head?
Find out where you have it - and then try to put into words how it feels?
Now you use your thoughts.
- What do you say to yourself to make the feeling stronger? This is what you learned in the audio-reflection number 2 about being calm. If you repeat that you are calm, your brain will find it easier to help you stay calm. Also, in difficult meetings.
Then use both your conscious thoughts and the feeling to create a strong mood that you use in the meeting.
Take some time to find the right mood and the right words – and what it feels like so you are prepared for the meeting.
Third feeling (at the beginning of the meeting):
The last thing before the meeting is to choose how you want to enter the meeting. It can be how you want to enter the door. Or what you want to do when you open the screen in an online meeting.
Straighten up, lower your shoulders and imagine that you are walking into the room, to the table or opening the screen for a virtual meeting.
- How would you like others to perceive you at the beginning of the meeting?
- How will you contribute to create a good environment for the opening of the meeting?
Switch between the two feelings: The one you need in the meeting – as well as your opening feeling.
Continue for a while and when you're ready, you enter the meeting.
I wish you a good meeting with the right feelings – both at the beginning and later in the meeting.