Leading Ladies - Step Up, Step Out (in meetings)

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I'm fairly sure every woman (and probably a fair few men) has had at least one moment where they feel overwhelmed in the meeting room. Whether it's early on in their career when they don't feel qualified enough to speak up or later on when they need to manage a meeting but have difficulty controlling the room.

Crisis of confidence is a big hurdle to jump over when you are likely to have lower self-esteem than your male counterparts.

So how can you step up and step out in a meeting situation?

  • Visualise the Meeting: take a moment to remind yourself what your points are and what the ultimate goal of the meeting is. Do some visualising of how you want the meeting to go and the possible outcomes. Giving yourself some time before hand to think will allow you to take control from the get-go and  direct the meeting to a firm goal or outcome.

  • Strike a Power Pose: how your posture yourself can have an effect on your mind set. My favourite thing to do before a big meeting or interview or a particularly low confidence day is take a moment aside (in a private place ideally) to put my hands on my hips and stand up tall. Striking a power pose can help to improve your confidence and give you a physically visible morale boost.
  • Ask a Question: I must admit this is something I struggle with. I'm the kind of person who likes to sit back and observe so drawing attention to myself is not something that comes easily to me. But engaging in meetings is an important way to solidify your position, show that you are listening, and stop the ever terrifying occurrence of miscommunication. It can also give you the chance to bring others into the conversation who might not see an opening and need a little nudge to get their word out.

Let me know what challenges you've faced in the meeting room and how you've overcome them in the comments below!