My coaching client Lyssa called me last week in a tissy. She'd just come out of a staff meeting that hadn't gone well. I'll never be good at running meetings; she moaned! I hate them, and they hate me.
Who hates you? I teased. Your staff or just meetings in general?
Lyssa sighed; Both!
Lyssa when on: Every time I go into a staff meeting, I feel tense. I know the meeting is going to be strained. Someone is going to get worked up, and it's most often me. I wait for someone to put me on the spot with a pointed question. I just know I'll get defensive. Too often, I've lost my cool and said things I shouldn't have. I then feel stupid and leave the meeting feeling lousy.
I psych myself up before meetings and just pray I will get through them.
Lyssa was stuck in survival mode.
Lyssa set the bar low. I just want to survive this staff meeting.
But my job as a coach is to help Lyssa (and you) set the bar much higher.
Let me tell you how I helped Lyssa move in that direction. I started by asking her: What does your agenda for staff meetings look like?
Lyssa shrugged; Probably like any other leader's agenda. First, I go over all of the issues and concerns that I've got to cover. Then we review policy updates from senior management. Finally, I ask if they have anything they want to cover.
🤷♀️So you beat them then you bore them and then, after all, that, you bother to ask for their input - Do I have that about right?
Um, laughs Lyssa - Well, I don't think it's quite that bad but yeah, I guess so. So what should I be doing instead?
Lyssa had moved into her leadership role from a front-line position. She'd taken some management training since, but never received a "course" on how to run a staff meeting. It's just assumed, she knows how to do it.
I bet you have a similar backstory
But that's probably not true for most of us. We didn't just wake up one day knowing the SKILLS of how to run a staff meeting. Very few people have the innate ability to know HOW to run a meeting. Those that do have learned how to do that.
Lyssa learns some skills to run an effective staff meeting
It was time for Lyssa to begin to learn more about the skills necessary for running a staff meeting. We spent a few minutes talking about how to structure a routine staff meeting.
After a few minutes, Lyssa asked me: Why hasn't anyone ever taught me this stuff before? I said; When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
That saying: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear hints that the information has always been there. You just weren't looking for it or prepared to hear it. Ask yourself: Have I ever actually looked for information about how to run a staff meeting effectively? Most of us would say, probably not.
Here is the thing, running a staff meeting with confidence means you need to develop skills to run an effective meeting. But you have to look for those skills!
A growth mindset keeps you looking for your teachers
If you want to know how to run an effective staff meeting, start looking for teachings on that. Where do you learn those skills from? Textbooks, YouTube searches, and watching a mentor are all good places to start.
But you have to look at it from a student mindset. You have to be willing to learn. These are some things to query:
⭐️Why this matters SO much!⭐️
The #1 fear in women leaders is the fear of not being competent, not measuring up, looking like an idiot, stumbling over your words, failing or making a big mistake! They are afraid of looking incompetent. This fear is an indication of imposter syndrome.
You can be a CONFIDENT woman leader!
Competence, though, having the skill or ability to do something, is sometimes confused with having the courage to use that skill and feeling confident when you learn to use it well. All three of those "C" words go together.
✔️Competence is having the skills or ability
✔️Courage is being willing to use those skills even if you are not very good at it and feel afraid.
✔️Confidence is what comes AFTER you've had some experience putting the new skills to use.
3 steps to develop the confidence, competence and courage to run effective staff meetings
To become more effective, competent and confident to run staff meetings, take a look at where you are struggling with a feeling of incompetence. Then do the following three steps
Your ongoing commitment to developing you
is your secret to success and happiness!
Competence + Courage = Confidence
Competence is knowing how.
Courage is doing it even when it feels scary.
Confidence is experiencing it and realizing you lived through it.
The next time you find yourself worrying about feeling incompetent, take a deep breath and remind yourself, I'll figure it out. Then, figure it out by learning what skills you need to learn and have the courage to practice them thus, becoming a competent and confident leader!
Remember, ongoing personal & professional development is your path to confidence. Keep learning my dear and you'll feel better!
Tired of Survival Mode?
Here are the 3 steps to ditching survival mode:
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.