No matter where you work, heading into a work meeting can be extremely stressful, for a variety of reasons, from missed deadlines to contentious projects, to disagreements between colleagues. If you go into your meetings feeling unprepared or put on the spot, can only result in more tension and stress. Preparing in advance for these meetings will help you can help you remain in control even during the most demanding of business meetings. Here are three ways you can learn to maintain your composure and reduce stress during business meetings.
Make sure that you have everything you need for the meeting, prepared in advance. If you are giving a presentation, make sure you have plenty of copies of your handouts, and go over your notes several times. Advanced preparation and using presentation software from Beautiful.AI, can help you feel better organized and calm. Make sure to have your laptop charged and set up in advance, jot down notes on where your project currently stands and your progress in the project. Get everything set out in advance, so you don’t have to spend time looking for them before the start of the meeting.
Acknowledge Your Triggers
Everyone has specific stressors that will trigger their agitation and anger. Taking a preemptive approach and acknowledging your triggers can help you stop a bad situation before it happens. For example, if there is a coworker who always interrupts you during meetings, you can make a plan for how to calmly deal with the issue head-on. According to Forbes Online, preempting and acknowledging your triggers requires you to ask yourself, “What can I do to avoid the negative situation in the first place?” Having a plan in place to deal with the situations that stress you out during meetings can help you feel less stressed and more confident.
If your meetings tend to devolve into the blame game or arguing matches, the best thing that you can do is refuse to participate in the yelling and finger-pointing game. To keep yourself calm, Amy Jen Su, a writer for Harvard Business Review suggests taking a few deep breaths to keep you in your body and away from the reactive mode. In addition to breathing, she also suggests touching objects around you and takes notice of the different sensations they give you. This allows you to avoid getting stuck in your own head and physically reorienting yourself to make it easier to regain your perspective. If the situation gets really out of hand, remain quiet and calm during the meeting and address the issues with your supervisor or human resources department after the session has ended and you and your colleagues have had a chance to calm down. Regular meetings that are always stressful won’t benefit anyone and could end up contributing to a hostile work environment.
Workplace meetings, while necessary, aren’t always calm and peaceful. To keep yourself from experience the stress of business meetings, utilize these three tips to help you stay calm, cool, and collected during the most challenging business meetings.