The Easiest Way to Not be a Jerk in Meetings

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

What sets you off? Frustrates you? Clouds your vision so much that what you know you should do goes out the window and subconscious reactions kick in?

We all have triggers and they bring out the worst in us at work because triggers are the things that make us feel ignored. Undervalued. Unappreciated. Sometimes they go deeper and hit at our core, and then we feel shame, worthlessness, guilt. 

Naming our triggers is critical to professional growth.

I know mine. It's taken years to figure them out + be humble enough to accept that this is who I am and these triggers have an impact on how I behave. They are:

  • Being excluded from a decision
  • Having my intelligence challenged
  • Feeling left out

By knowing our triggers, we can shut off negative responses at the source, because we're able to label exactly what is wrong. Instead of snapping at someone or ignoring them (my two most common reactions when I am triggered), when I feel the urge to behave that way, I take a few seconds to identify WHY.

And the answer is always that I've been triggered. 

Which usually means I'm feeling that someone isn't listening to me or respecting my intelligence, but sometimes I have to admit that I'm feeling left out and want to take it out on the other person. 

The danger is that most people don't know (or won't accept) their triggers.

I see it daily, and here's what it looks like: 

  • Shutting down in a meeting, refusing to say anything else because the group isn't listening
  • Pushing for ideas too hard and purposely causing friction and calling others out in order to not be seen as the one who messed up
  • Not answering emails on purpose because of the fear that the answer is wrong
  • Interrupting and challenging everyone in a meeting because that's equated with being the smartest or most important

Understanding your triggers takes a combination of maturity and humility. And it starts with this question: What are my self-doubts? When do I feel at my lowest?

Another indicator is your personality style. I love the DISC assessment, because it's easy to interpret and put into action. And knowing what quadrant you're in gives insight into the behaviors that could set you off (so if you're struggling to peel away the layers of your personality and the baggage of life because it feels too scary, start with DISC).

Self-awareness is critical to professional growth. It's also critical to keeping yourself from flying off the handle andbeing a jerk and calling your boss a crazy person in the next team meeting. Because I can guarantee that won't help you grow professionally either.

 

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Tess Ausman is the founder of CLT Leads, LLC, a virtual leadership development company that transforms overachieving young professionals into confident, self-aware leaders. She is passionate about the soft skills that it takes to grow a career: self-awareness, empathy, and a healthy dose of humilty. Check her out at www.instagram.com/thecltleads too.

A Mindset Hack to Get You Back on Track in the New Year

If it was easy then everyone would do it. 

A friend told me this as I was explaining how lately I've been in the valley of despair with being an entrepreneur. I've been letting imposter syndrome and self-defeating thoughts run rampant.

I don't really know as much as I think I do

Who am I to share about how to do anything?

No one is really paying attention on social media

I'll never be able to successfully launch a product

All because I'm not succeeding as fast as I think I should be. I'm not meeting my own, unrealistic expectations and instead have been choosing to compare myself against all the successful entrepreneurs out there who seemingly have it all together and are making all the $$$. 

Or at least them SEEM to be. Right?

We do this at work too you guys. 

We compare ourselves to those with higher titles and better cars and think that we'll never be as successful as they are. We watch someone present in a meeting and wonder why we can't be just as influential. We get constructive feedback and take it to mean we will never be able to be a rock star in our current role because if our boss disagrees with one thing we do then everything-I-do-must-be-flawed-and-I-will-never-be-able-to-get-a-raise-or-that-promotion-now.

It's so hard to overcome these thoughts, especially if you're pessimistic by nature or hold yourself to an extremely high standard (guilty). 

I used to beat myself up for beating myself up (ironic, I know) and that made it worse (shocker). But over time I've learned to lean into those feelings of imposter syndrome and self-defeat and label them. 

What am I feeling in this moment? Why? Is it true?

It takes seconds to do this. Longer if I'm going to write it down. Sometimes I do it while walking to another meeting. Or getting water. Or heating up my lunch. You get the picture.

And it works. Because by acknowledging these feelings I'm exposing them and proving they're false. 

Because feelings aren't facts. 

Most of us go through our day at work thinking that feelings are actually facts though, and we let that guide how we interact with others and treat ourselves. And that's why we're quick to anger, even quicker to get frustrated, and ultimately decide that we hate our job and can't stand showing up to work.

It's a new year and we're all trying to be better versions of ourselves because a new year holds so much promise that we can tackle anything and be all the things and do all the things. I've repeated my friend's statement probably one hundred times since that day because though I'm not feeling that rejuvenated by the new year just yet, I'm getting there.

And if you're struggling to get there too, then work on asking yourself those questions.

What am I feeling in this moment? Why? Is it true?

They'll give you perspective and clear your head. And if that doesn't work, then flip someone off under the table during a meeting and I promise that will make everything feel better. Sometimes we just have to do what it takes friends.