Know this feeling? A meeting is approaching that you really don’t want to do. Every ounce of you is resisting it. Here’s the secret to never feeling this way again. It’s simple. Just scream out: “AEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!” Seriously. Here’s why.
Roger is a former senior leader in the media industry. He was exploring career moves after taking a long sabbatical, during which he had done some deep soul searching. CEO Mike had met him, and suggested I do too. “I read your blog,” he said.” I planned to quickly browse through it as preparation for our chat. I read it for five hours. We’re kindred spirits.” I liked him immediately!
As we talked, he told me of a technique to approach meetings or events that you are seriously not looking forward to. It’s so simple, yet so powerful. Every time you have an appointment or engagement coming up that you feel kind of flat about, which is causing angst in your gut and a ‘bloody hell’ reaction when your mind thinks about it, then follow his “AEE” strategy. Here it is:
Acceptance…. Enthusiasm…. Enjoyment.
Acceptance- stop resisting the inevitable. Accept that you have to turn up to that meeting/event; there is no escape. It is going to happen and get used to the idea. Acceptance.
Enthusiasm- start thinking about all the things about the meeting/event that you can enjoy and get some positive value out of. “It’s a ‘must have’ meeting and there will be real progress once it is done.” “I will find three things about that person to really like.” “I am going to ensure that person leaves the meeting really inspired and encouraged.” “I am going to make a real connection with that person around parenting lessons learnt.” “I am going to ensure I meet five people at that cocktail party that I learn something from.” Whatever. Get enthusiastic about what you can contribute or gain from that event. Enthusiasm.
Enjoyment- if you stop angsting about the upcoming event and accept it, and start focusing with enthusiasm about positive aspects which can be achieved from it, you’ll quickly find that you actually will weirdly enough start to look forward to it, and then- no kidding- actually enjoy it. Enjoyment.
This has been my experience. I have quickly made it a habit- to scream out “AEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” whenever I feel the heart sink when I look at my diary and see upcoming meetings or engagements which I just don’t want to do. This is how I interpreted Roger’s counsel. I hope I am following it correctly. Roger – if you’re reading this, please let me know!
By the way, Roger mentioned he’d learnt this approach from the book, “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. I have the book beside my bed. It’s not an easy read but I am quietly working my way through it. Have not got to this concept yet, and am looking forward to learning more about it when I do.
Question of You
How do you manage those meetings that you just don’t want to do- that cause you angst even thinking about them? Any tips?
Have to go now, have a meeting with my tax accountant starting in an hour. AEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!