Whether we are heading in to do a presentation, meet a client or do a 1:1 with a team member, there is no doubt that a healthy dose of confidence works wonders for how successful this interaction is going to be!
Sadly, because we are often running around in a flurry of busyness with our minds full of tasks, to dos and “Oh No, I’d better not forget that” type situations, we often fail to prepare for the important aspects of our role – in particular the interactions with people who are central to what we do.
Tone is everything and when we set a positive tone for our interactions, we boost our own energy which has the added bonus of creating a healthy environment for the people around us.
But how can you catapult yourself into that positive zone when there is so much to do and so little time?
- Take a breath …very simple yet hugely effective because it sends a message to your brain that all is calm thereby counteracting the effects of adrenaline which is often pumping through your veins in times of extreme busyness. This is important because the original “use” of adrenaline was to allow a quick response in dangerous situations (fight or flight) – presentations, client meetings, or 1:1s are not generally dangerous situations so we want to ensure that the energy we bring to the meeting reflects this idea of “safety” and “OK-edness”. This helps us feel calm and secure. It also permeates to the people around us as we are likely to speak more slowly and clearly, thereby creating that sense of calm and clarity that make an interaction comfortable and motor importantly, effective.
- Sit Up/Stand Tall – Posture is everything! When we straighten up and hold our heads high, we send a message to our brain to say that we are strong, confident and ready for action. It also has the added advantage of sending that same message to the people we interact with – Win/Win!
- “What’s Working Well?” Not only is this a question to ask yourself, it is also one that you can bring to your meeting/presentation.We are hardwired to see the negative, to problem-solve so we can move on with our plans/actions/goals but there is a huge amount of value in changing this pattern so that we give equal “airtime” to the positive. Think about it…we get energy from what is going on around us so if we overly focussed on the negative, it’s going to bring our energy down, make us less creative and create an unnecessarily negative vibe. Of course I am not suggesting that you shy away from dealing with the challenges that need to be dealt with, it just means that you create a more positive environment to deal with those challenges. In changing the way you work, you boost your own confidence around the fact that there are things that are working well, which is particularly important when we want to create a shift from the fire fighting, reactive, “every day is a crisis” environment that often feels draining, heavy and unproductive to an environment that is constructive, productive and a pleasure to be part of!
So give it a try – if nothing else, you get what you give and by presenting this positive, confident version of yourself to the world, you are contributing to the environment & culture around you in a way that has the potential to make everyone’s day that little bit better!