Agendas, Agendas, Agendas

An agenda is what is going to happen in a meeting, a conference, a report, or perhaps an afternoon with friends.  What happens when your agenda does not match the others in the room, at the event, or on the outing?  Lots and lots of energy is poured out in a non-seen way as the event progresses and at the same time your own ire rises in an unseen chemical dump into your blood stream.  What is this?  Why does this happen?  Can I be in charge as to how I feel about all of this?

Let’s talk about what the underlying event here is, in all of this:  “unmet expectation”.  That simply means that you come to the meeting with an idea of what is going to happen and it does not, so therefore your expectation goes unmet.  Now if you have a lot of emotion tied up and invested into this event your “unmet expectation” will be very high and you will have a degree of unhappiness, or depletion of your energy, irritation and so that will linger after the meeting is over.

If you go out to eat with friends let’s say and you think one thing is going to be the topic of conversation and it turns out to be something else entirely; your anticipation for a nice lunch, girl talk and shopping can turn into:  “….how quickly can I escape from this waste of my time…” mindset.

When we put lots of energy, emotion and anticipation into something that is asked of us and then the rug gets pulled out from beneath us, we tend to not take this too well and resentment builds and we cannot hear, concentrate or make suggestions or comments which move the group forward due to the former.  We are essentially “off-line” due to our “emotional component” to this situation.

What can you do to “defuse” yourself?  There are many things that you can do so that you do not fall into this trap.  And believe me, we all fall into this place of “quick sand” from time to time.  Our emotional ball gets rolling and before we know we are even rolling, we have fallen off the cliff! 

1.  Put together you piece of the presentation, facts, tables , spreadsheet or whatever it is to the best of your ability, the facts knowm at the time and present them in a timely, respectful manner, without additional reasons, excuses and such. 

2.  Do not take in the attitude that this is going to:  a)  get me fired, b) get me a promotion, c)  get me a raise, d) get me under the microscope and so on.  Having this mindset, puts your emotions into play and immediately you loose all your leverage and power.

3.  In the case of a social circumstances there are many things that you can do:  a)  be clear about the purpose of your gathering (is it a gossips, back stabbing, gripe session), you may or may not wish to participate.  If these women were talking about you would you want your friend to participate?  Better to gracefully bow out this time.  b) if this is just a friendly get together to swap stories and catch up feel free to do so, but limit your time.  Once you are all caught up its over.  Looking for something else to do is depleting.  c) never mix a business aspect of anything with a purely social event.  If you are networking, make sure you remain clear about why you are there and do not drink alcohol.  This is the fastest way to loose all credibility.  If you are at a business dinner, keep it business. 

4.  Be clear about what the event is and what the optimal outcome is.  Let go of the result as much as you can unless it is a results meeting.

5.  As women we must have a “diffuser” person or process in our lives.  This “diffuser” must be used liberally and often.   I call this a “default mode” in my book.  You can learn how to change your default mode.  One of the things women do is to drink, eat or shop as a default.  Along with gossip and back stabbing.  All five of these will not make the situation better, they will not make you feel better only worse, they are bad for your health, your waistline and your finances.  Here are four healthy defaults you can employ today:  1.  Take your shoes off and walk in the green grass or on the beach or shore line, 2.  Take two bowls of warm water and put two tablespoons of salt in them and dissolve and then place both hands in the water for five minutes, close your eyes and breath.  3.  Take a warm bubble bath, add some epsom salts to the tub and take 20 minutes to yourself.  4.  Find a sunny place in your home and sit there just absorbing the sun.  If there is room lay down a towel or blanket and stretch out and just absorb and breath deeply.

Having any “Agenda” is a very slippery slope.  Think twice before setting one.