I attended a webinar hosted by the World Business & Executive Coach Summit today that was aimed at coaches but provided some useful tips for anyone rushing from project to project.
The question under discussion was something like ‘how do you manage energy when you’re dealing with back-to-back meetings?
I remember those days in Corporate America when that’s how I (and most of my colleagues) spent most of my/our days. We often lamented ‘How are we to get our work done?’
The suggestions from today’s session were very helpful but still might pose a problem in implementation in that back-to-back meeting scenario.
Here are 3 ideas shared by Pam McLean and my assessments about how to implement them in a fast-paced world.
1. Preserve time before your meeting
Gather your thoughts. Invest time at least the day prior to your meeting to consider how you want to present yourself and the important points you want to make. Think about the other attendees, their concerns, aspirations and likely mindset. Notice any anxiety you might be feeling and acknowledge it . Recognize it’s there to help you prepare and be your best.
2. Remain present throughout the session
If the content of the meeting is contentious, it’s likely that emotions will get stirred. Do you best to keep breathing slowly and consiously. Draw your breathe in all the way down to your belly-button. Exhale slowly to relieve your own tension. Keep aware of any sensations you’re experiencing in your body. As you focus your attention on them and breathe, they will mellow out.
3. Create reflective space after the meeting
If you can do this immediately after the meeting, that’s ideal, but sometimes not so realistic when faced with back-to-back sessions. Even when you have breathing room, there will be the temptation to put off the reflection to later when you’re less ‘busy’. Don’t do it. Take a afew minutes and ask yourself, what did I observe about myself? What did I learn? What could I do differently? Of what am I proud?
Taking a few minutes before, during and after important interactions will help you become more aware of yourself, your interactions with others and the ways you can be more effective in presenting your ideas and influencing those around you.