Some of the biggest changes in our lives can come from important meetings, especially when you are asking for someone's business. I've been in hundreds of these types of meetings as both a real estate agent and an entrepreneur. Even before you ever step into the room, the adrenaline starts pumping and the nervous energy builds. One of the things I remind myself, and my agents of, is that nervousness and excitement are essentially the same physiological response, it's all in how you view it. I like to see these situations as an opportunity to demonstrate my expertise. It's a bit like sports, you can train all you want, but your true mettle isn't tested until you are on the field of play.
As we prepare to enter the meetings, one of the things that can trip us up the most is the "what if" thoughts. Many of those relate to the questions the other side may ask. We start to imagine how it will feel to hear those questions, to fumble over the answers, and it can be enough to truly shake our confidence. The last thing you want to do is go into a meeting with your consciousness dominated by a list of things you hope the other side doesn't ask. It not only sets you up to fail but it also distracts you from being able to truly listen to what the other person is saying.
In our offices, we are embarking on a bold challenge. We are asking each of our real estate Associates to make a list of the five questions they hope they don't get asked. We've made it a little easy on them, we are asking them to just think one per day over the next week. This helps us all face the fears and bring them out into the light.
The next step of course, is to create strong, persuasive answers to the questions we are most afraid of. This isn't always something that can be done alone. In our offices, we are holding meetings where we can gather these questions together and bring our decades of experience to bear in the crafting of answers that are both accurate and authentic. I've found that the more I hold these meetings, the more people gradually gather up their courage to attend. These meetings are collaborative in nature and we all gain strength from each other. Bouncing your scariest questions and their answers off a friend or mentor helps you gain practice and facility in answering with sincerity and intelligence.
An interesting thing happens when we directly face the things that most challenge us. When we shy away from our worries they seem to grow in size until they fill up the whole room, squeezing out courage and confidence in the process. However, when we face them head on and take incremental steps toward chipping away at them, they somehow seem to become smaller and smaller, minor obstacles in the path of greatness. Instead of walking into the room and being afraid, we stride in, head held high, accepting the call to demonstrate our abilities at the highest level.
Ask yourself the questions you hope no one will ask. It could be the best thing you ever do for your career.