It can be hard to focus on the positive, especially when meeting topics are not always rays of sunshine and rainbows. There are meetings that are geared towards budget cuts, layoffs, decreasing sales, departmental decline, etc. These topics do not lend themselves to a “positive” vibe. So how do you remain positive during the “not-so-positive” meetings? Well, here are a few simple techniques that can help keep the positive thoughts going even during your toughest meetings.
Start your meeting with a POSITIVE focus:
One simple suggestion is to begin your meeting on a cheerful note. Several of our clients have told me they start all their meetings with each team member sharing a positive focus, which is awesome! Here at sparkspace we have staff meetings every Monday, and we always share something positive that has happened to us in the past week whether it was professionally or personally. It sets the pace of the meeting and jump starts the positive mindset.
Our founder, Mark Henson, started using this term and it is genius. Have you ever noticed that when someone says “You should do xy and z this way”, or “You should never do xy and z”, your defense automatically goes up? This ensures the “positive vibes” are going right out the window so let’s try no more “shoulding”. What if, instead, we said “In past experiences xy and z has worked for me”, or “Jane had a very similar situation, lets find out how she handled xy and z”. Finding a different way to put a spin on words helps keep the negativity out of the meeting, and keeps our mind focused on the positive.
Highlight the contributions of the staff during the meeting wrap-up. This provides validation that your team has positively influenced or contributed to the meeting and they are more likely to leave the meeting on a high note, rather than having all their focus on the no-so cheerful material discussed. Also, highlighting the company wins over the past year, month, or whatever it may be is a great way to step back into the meeting after lunch or during wrap- up. Ensuring the meeting ends on a positive note is just as impactful as beginning the meeting on positive note.
It’s impossible for all meetings to be fun, cheerful, and positive. If that were the case we wouldn’t complain about participating in meetings all the time. It is possible to consistently practice positive ways of discussing topics and celebrate/share positive moments during every meeting.
If you have any suggestions or techniques on how you keep positive during your meetings I would love to hear them! Please leave a comment below.