First, put your weapons down. By “weapons”, I mean: the negative sentiment left over from your previous meeting, the stress you felt this morning when your kid peed on the floor, the remnant energy you held in while being polite to the client, your frustration with the way the payroll software locked up your screen, the way the barista screwed up your morning coffee, the anger you still have from last week’s meeting with the same group. And, of course, any physical weapons.
Second, get your head on straight. By “head on straight,” I mean: think about why you’re about to meet, remember your point of view, let the confidence in the designs you’re about to show root you to the ground. Figure out what you intend to leave this room with – a take-away, a decision, one of those special co-working moments that brim with anticipation and the belief that you are changing something about the world. And, of course, put your phone away.
Third, welcome your party. (They may not have read this post.) By “welcome,” I mean: approach them in an easy way, listen while considering their points, stand behind what is most important and let what doesn’t matter to you be a victory for someone else. Make them feel privileged to spend time with you by bringing energy to the conversation and not depleting the room of it. And, of course, smile.
Fourth, let go of how you assumed it would go. By “let go,” I mean: go with the flow, give up control, support without sticking, open to the possibility that today is the day things change. And, of course, enjoy having a conversation rather than reciting one.
Finally, do the work. By “the work,” I mean the work. If the room is free of weapons and everyone’s head is on straight and everyone feels confident and willing to play, the work is going to remind you why you came in today.
And, of course, why it matters.