I’ve worked with leaders for years. Quite honestly its a privilege to have a job that provides support to people in some of the most tense situations in the workplace. Through the countless hours of meetings however, I’ve noticed that because so many leaders are perfectionists they believe they need to memorize each word and phrase they’re going to share with their employees during the pending meeting.
Just let me say…that’s crazy.
Think about what goes into a difficult employee relations meeting: a review of the documentation, dialogue about the issues that, a-hem, haven’t been documented yet, and the natural anxieties of the leader thinking about delivering a difficult message to a member of their team. Be honest, these moments are not on anyone’s favorites list.
So stop worrying about memorizing the whole spiel. You won’t be able to do it…not because you’re not smart enough, but because in the moment you’re going to be too nervous. Don’t worry about it. Focus on doing it well, and that means being prepared with notes in hand that you’re going to refer to during the meeting.
When you begin the meeting simply acknowledge that the issues you’re going to discuss are important, so much so that you’ve put a lot of thought into what needs to be covered and you’re going to make sure you don’t forget anything and will refer to your notes.
Simple. Now you’re off the hook, you don’t have to memorize a thing, and you’ll have the confidence to get through a challenging meeting with a member of your team.
Oh, but once you read from those notes there’s no way in hell you’re winning an Oscar.