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Meeting Monsters!

The Damage a workplace meeting can cause!

Recently I have come across too many episodes of people “hurt” and “damaged” by workplace meetings. Nice people can be sitting ducks!

Not everyone is born to fight or be able to stand up for themselves and in this time of equality they shouldn’t have to! But those who attack and disable others with skilful communication, win and get more than they deserve! A world of aggressive, inconsiderate, uncaring takers is not a nice world to live in but this is what is happening in many workplaces.

Remember this: People in the main believe what they see and hear! So if lies are told they are easily believed! That’s the sad truth about humans. Few have the knowhow to spot when someone is telling a lie, but it can be learnt.

Ever had or seen someone in a meeting:

  • Get away with being rude, disrespectful or offensive

  • Get away with shouting and aggressive behaviour

  • Get away with ridiculing others

  • Get away with bullying others and no one stands up for the truth or to protect the victim

  • Tell lies about you, your team or someone else

  • Unfairly attack you

  • Distort the truth to make you look bad

  • Skilfully mislead others to cause trouble or protect themselves

  • Intimidate and fluster the less confident

Sadly there is a lot of this going on from board meetings, team meetings to back to work interviews. But how do they continually get away with it? Let’s be honest, they not only get away with it but also thrive and prosper, being awarded opportunities and rewards.

Simply people, often are good at their jobs but not good at (or trained in):

  • Unexpectedly having to defend or stand up for themselves

  • Responding instantly, in the moment, instead the mind goes blank

  • Fighting, not having techniques to win a battle or defend

  • The influencing skills to reveal the unacceptable communication & reverse the “game”

What are the consequences in this style of behaviour? From my experience, people I’ve helped recover came to be with broken confidence, in emotional breakdown, panic attacks, feeling beaten and insignificant. The risk on mental health mustn’t be underestimated, its real and no one deserves that as a result of workplace behaviour. Some planned to change jobs, some given up their once loved positions and that is not fair is it. Unfair especially when the perpetrators get promoted because others believe their hype or are too afraid to challenge them. Wrong but that is the way it works. It is a big financial problem for many businesses as they will

  • Have staff go off on stress sickness leave

  • Lose good performers who will leave (Victims as well as observers will leave)

  • Find themselves heading to costly tribunal

  • Cots to cover sickness as well as to replace individuals

There are many good employers with more ethical and protective treatment of their employees. We all know how costly the recruitment and training is to a business. It would cost far less to have a behavioural expert train and explain good productive communications.

When people get away with this behaviour they may accelerate their toxic words and actions which can become a silent killer. We know the power of bullying – many children have taken their lives because of it, adults too.

The Secret is: Any one can learn to safely handle this kind of toxic behaviour and comfortably face these people! That seems far from the truth when it is happening to you.

Due to the nature of how we are culturally, you won’t commonly see training for this in the workplace, few know that they can learn to manage situations and stay emotionally protected. Some have to invest in themselves and its often said that it is their best personal investment. I wish I had invested in the know-how and methods that can transform situations when I needed it. Who knew? No one in my working world or in friends/family situation or I would have avoided a constructive dismissal tribunal case and also been able to grasp promotions rather than see them go to poor performers who cost the company money and demotivation! So you can understand why I am keen to help others in similar situations.

So what is the secret?

Simply to firstly address the unwanted emotions as a result of past events. If you think of a form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) there may be several events or one big shocking one which has created these emotionally delicate states. There are methods where the emotions can be rebalanced to a safe, feeling strong and confident state. Best of all it doesn’t take long. Everyone is different of course, but many have got there in one or two sessions.

So if you know someone who suffers from

  • Feeling sick at the thought of facing someone or meetings

  • Get tongue tied or stuck

  • Feel tearful

  • Feel afraid to speak up

  • Have no one to support or stand up for what is right

Share this blog with them now

Secondly, learning the simple know how / methods to

  • Gain thinking time before answering or responding in a challenging situation

  • Stay calm and be resourceful in the moment

  • Be able to bring focus on what has been said

  • Methods to stop their flow and for their actions to be considered

  • Identify when someone is bending the truth or telling lies

  • Use their style against them

  • Deal with conflict in a non-conflict way (we do not have to stoop to their level)

Solutions based communication is the way to go to achieve the best outcome without going thorugh conflict and experiencing a workplace war.

It saddens me hearing so many are being damaged when there is choice and a way to stay protected and have what is fair. But until people learn about the subtle levels of communication and their effects, more people will be unfailrly hurt and suffer the consequences.

Rather wait until there is breakdown, it is wise to take action as soon as possible to learn these valuable skills. It could lead to your protecting others from this abuse too.

I regularly run training sessions incorporating NLP, Emotional Management techniques, Emotional Intelligence and managing conflict & influencing skills for those who want to thrive and or recover and return to full confidence. Of course working one to one fast tracks the progress. If any of the above affects you, what are you waiting for?

5 Quick Tips

  1. Take a deep breath, think “calm calm calm”

  2. Use stalling sentences such as “That’s interesting you say that” It gives you precious time to think and form your response

  3. Keep your eyes looking upwards and not down at the floor

  4. If eye contact makes you uncomfortable, look at their eyebrows

  5. Ask a question back such as “What has caused you to say that” “What makes that fair” “How do you expect me to respond to that?” “What is your real intention behind saying that” This gives you great thinking time and turns the focus back on them.

Protect you, protect your career, preserve your prospects and enjoy skilful influencing

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