An introvert’s guide to preparing for a meeting
Oh no, another meeting?! Your colleagues may be the loveliest people, but as an introvert the idea of rounding them all up at once for a group chat probably feels both unpleasant and unproductive. You do your best work on your own or one-on-one; a meeting is just a chance to get your ideas drowned out by more persistent voices and waste precious minutes away from your desk. Right?
It needn’t be that way. Maybe you’ll never fall in love with the meeting process, but so long as meetings remain a part of office life you may as well learn how to get the most from them – even if your skill set is better matched to more intimate scenarios.
The key, as an introvert, is that you can turn your research and preparation skills to your advantage while your friends and rivals wait for the chance to put their quick wit and overbearing voices into action.
Get hold of the agenda a couple of days in advance and look deeper into any aspects that you feel need further research. Print and annotate the agenda with your thoughts to use as a cue in the meeting. Knowing the ins and outs of the subject in advance not only gives you a chance to respond on your own terms (as the meeting room can be a bit busy to think) but also to speak confidently in the awareness you’ve got the facts at your fingertips.
On the day, avoid caffeine – which may actually over-stimulate your mind – and concentrate on relaxing instead. Roll up early to the conference room, since chatting with colleagues face to face before the meeting starts can make it easier to speak up once all eyes are on you.
Feeling better-equipped? This new infographic from On Stride Financial contains full instructions on what to do once that meeting begins – and how your personal post-meeting debrief can help you move ahead to future meetings with assurance.
Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer