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  • Writer's pictureThrive Inc.

How to Handle Stress During Meetings & Improve Your Performance

How do you handle your stress right in the middle of a meeting?

You know those times when:

  • A co-worker snaps at you harshly in front of everyone else.

  • Someone scrutinizes your project and others pile on.

  • Your boss completely disagrees with your well thought out POV.

Do you:

  • lash back?

  • Get defensive to protect yourself?

  • Give in and agree?

  • Go blank and stay silent?

We all know those are ineffective reactions, but we still fall prey to them.

I’m going to give you an easy-to-use tool you can use right in middle of the meeting that will help you respond differently.

Imagine how free and confident you’ll feel in those situations when you

  • stay calm

  • think clearly

  • are well spoken!

First, I’m going to tell you how I came to this powerful tool.

I’m an Olympic athlete, a rower. When I was in the boat at the start of a race against the Russians, Chinese, Germans – I needed to settle my stress, my anxiety swiftly and easily.

What I didn’t realize is I was already using this tools intuitively.

Now, I’ve done the learning to understand why it worked. I could give you several tools.

I could even explain the polyvagal theory, but I bet I’d lose you.

What you need to know during those stressful moments is the blood is draining from your brain preparing you to flight, flight, or freeze. You are actually getting dumber in that moment.

Your vision is getting narrower.

You literally have tunnel vision.

You can’t see options.

You can’t think of possibilities.

So I want to give you a tool that:

  • has the blood flowing back to your brain.

  • Helps you to see more options.

  • Has you responding much more effectively.

What do you do when you are right in the middle of the meeting?

I want you to take a moment and turn your head (not just your eyes) sideways. Yes, take your eyes off the Brady-Bunch video conference screen and turn your head.

Trust me. You’ll still be able to track the meeting. You might even track it better.

When you turn your head find an object in the room. Take a beat. Notice it, the color, the shape, how far away it is from you.

Now, do it again. Turn your head in the opposite direction. Find another object. Take a beat and notice it.

This brings you into the present moment versus locked in your stressed out primitive brain.

This gets the blood flowing back to your brain.

We want this. Often, when I do this I realize my body takes a breath.

Now, don’t believe it when you hear yourself saying, “I don’t have time for this. I have to respond immediately.” That is your primitive brain lying to you.

Before you discount this, try it, experiment, and find out how it works for you.

Just like in sports, the more you practice it, the faster this will work for you.

Do you want to be more effective in stressful situations?

Do you want to stop letting self-doubt hold you back from more opportunities?

Do you want to break unproductive patterns that you know are holding you back?

I coach people just like you every day.

Reach out to me and I’ll help you be more successful.

I’m CrisMarie Campbell a leadership performance coach and team consultant.

I’m the author of two books.

Our work has been featured on NBC, the Today Show, and Shape.

So you know I’m that good! ;->

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