We often offer ideas about how you can drive better business results through our accountability method, and today we want to focus on: How you can reframe your thought cycle when you’re going to a meeting.
Everyone knows that many meetings suck. Having observed thousands of meetings, I’ve come to believe that sometimes we ourselves may be the reason we feel that way.
I know that sometimes I have been the reason why. Let’s examine how my attitude might impact a meeting. No matter where you are on the organizational chart, this might apply to you as well.
OK! I’m going into a meeting, and I have a bad attitude about it. Why? Because so far it’s never been a productive meeting. Or, maybe I just haven’t enjoyed it; or I don’t like one of the people. Maybe one of the people doesn’t like me. Whatever the motivation or reason, I’m going to this meeting in a state of mind that indicates that I’m not showing up at my best. I’m starting out thinking “I hate this meeting.”
We call this a negative thought cycle. I hate this meeting, so I’m cranky, irritable, and upset. In that mood, I’m going to limit my participation. I’m going to be withdrawn and I may even make negative comments. Then, leaving that meeting I’m feeling victimized and powerless.
Next week I go into that meeting feeling even worse. Now, I’m not thinking “I hate this meeting,” I’m thinking, “I really hate it; it really sucked last week;” and I’m probably ignoring my own contribution to that outcome. Stacy Colino wrote that, “emotions are like germs-they’re contagious.” If I’m going into a meeting hating it, that will impact others and probably make the meeting even worse.
Let’s look at that same hateful meeting, but with my thinking tweaked just a little. Let’s call this a positive thought cycle.
Instead of going into the meeting thinking I hate it, I go in thinking, “I’m going to make a contribution today.” That changes my mood. Going in with that intention, I’m now a little calmer, somewhat curious, and more open-minded; so I behave differently. I fully participate. I’m more thoughtful, more relational, and I add some value. I probably receive a little more value, too; and I leave feeling confident.
What does that confidence do in the next meeting? I don’t go into that meeting thinking that I might make a contribution; I go in thinking that I will make a positive contribution, just like I did last time.
We want you to switch such negative thought cycles to positive ones, whether you’re talking about a meeting you don’t like, or a person that you don’t enjoy interacting with.
Instead of thinking, “This person fails me all the time and I don’t like him”; you could go into that interaction thinking “I’m going to make a contribution to this person and help him improve.”
These little (or maybe not-so-little) tweaks in thinking are what we observe our highest performing clients do on a regular basis. They are driving results through accountability, and outperforming their industries with this kind of behavior.
We appreciate your having taken a few minutes to hear this concept of switching negative thought cycles to positive ones.
Our certified facilitators are ready to help you drive better business results through our accountability method and also, how to generate leadership at every level of your organization, with the ideas we outlined in “Step Up, Lead in Six Moments that Matter”.