Four Things to Say to Yourself Before Every Meeting

How do you get your game face on before meetings? You do have a meeting game face don’t you?

Meeting Game Face

I’ve found that people attending meetings tend to fall into four groups, loosely based on their DISC profiles.

Group 1: Those who have all the ideas and think theirs are the best. (Those who take over, usually High D’s)

Group 2: Those who have tons of ideas but never share them. (Those who are afraid to speak up, usually High C’s and S’s)

Group 3: Those who have no ideas. (Those who don’t think quickly, usually High C’s)

Group 4: Those who just want to have fun. (Those who came for the party and a business meeting broke out, usually High I’s)

Here are four mantras for each of the four groups. No matter what group you fall into, I want you to repeat these over and over before each meeting, so that you achieve your objectives.

Group 1 Mantras

Objective: To be cooperative, to be a team player, to value others’ opinions, and learn.

  1. I am not the smartest person in the room.
  2. I didn’t get here by myself.
  3. My idea is not always going to be the best one.
  4. I need help to make a wise decision.

Those are the things that I personally repeat each time I attend a meeting.

Group 2  Mantras

Objective: To speak up, to be heard, to help the team, and show energy.

  1. I have valuable ideas to share.
  2. I am an important part of this team.
  3. I will defend my ideas when challenged.
  4. Others need my counsel.

Group 3 Mantras

Objective: To participate in the discussion, to contribute, to think on your feet, and to be seen as actively involved.

NOTE: I have often found that this group needs to prepare in advance. Come with ready-made ideas and share them throughout.

  1. I am prepared for this meeting.
  2. I will ask for time to think when needed.
  3. I will think out loud when necessary.
  4. I will be seen as engaged.

Group 4 Mantras

Objective: To be seen as more serious, focused on the task at hand, and contributing.

  1. I care deeply about results.
  2. I will use my relationship skills to bring others together.
  3. I will take notes and offer serious ideas.
  4. I will use humor only when appropriate to lighten the mood.

Which group do you fall into? How can these mantras help you? What would you add or take away from yours?

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  • I’m definitely in Group 2. I appreciate these thoughts for helping me speak up. Thanks, Matt!

    • My pleasure Jon!

      Look forward to hearing the results.

    • Group 2…taking over the blog!!

      • Ha! Oddly, group 2 normally never says anything.

        • We’re odd group 2-ers…wait. I don’t dare say that to you!
          lets try again: we’re unique group 2-ers!

        • Wade_Thorson

          Interestingly I would guess group 2 people may be more likely to repond in this format or via email than in a meeting. Here we have time to think which is critical. Group 1 people speak than think, where as Group 2 people think thank speak.

          • Well put Wade.

            Group 1 – Speak then think.
            Group 2 – Think then speak…maybe
            Group 3 – Think, think, think, think, start to speak, think, think, put it into a spreadsheet, create a glossy handout, think, think, speak
            Group 4 – Thi – I brought cupcakes for everyone. Drinks are in the lounge. How was your weekend?

      • Steve Pate

        oooh just wait group 4 is going to flank from the right! lol

        • As long as its the right, we got it covered!! I think Wade is watching the right, Jon’s got the left!

  • Wade_Thorson

    I fall into Group 2, I definitely can identify people out of my team meetings that fit into each of those groups. As you stated it is Group 1 that gets the most input, but as the leader you need to bring the information out of the others which is the challenge.

  • I’m in group 3, and yes, we have great ideas if we know the agenda ahead of time (hard when you work for an “I”). Love your suggestions. Will practice at today’s meeting!

    • Let me know how it goes! Group 3 people sure do love agendas.

      • I like a good agenda too…maybe I spill over into group 3 a bit…

      • It took effort but I managed to stay more engaged – even without an agenda! Great advice.

  • I seem to have attributes from all the groups, but I might fit best in group four. By the way, I mentioned you on my blog today @ http://www.danerickson.net.

    • Great post today Dan. I never had you pegged as a group 4 type.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • I’m in group one and need to use a “brain filter” before I say anything.

  • I’m definitely group two. I have alot of ideas, but when i’m in a meeting, I often opt to just sit back and listen. I need to focus more on speaking up and sharing my ideas.
    Repeating these would definitely remind me that I need to do more than just sit and listen. It would help me look at my ideas as valuable and useful.
    I would add to my mantras: “Cowboy up, cupcake!” …but that might not be for everyone 😉
    Great post and observations!

  • Steve Pate

    hands down number 4 for me and a bit of number 3. If I can use humor when appropriate, it makes meetings meaningful to me. But I tend to process my ideas talking out loud. By doing that, it forces my thinking to slow down and not to be too quick on the feet.

    I would add, have solutions to my ideas or solution suggestions to problems I see before the meeting starts.

    Great post Matt.

  • This is weird…commenting directly on my own post, but I discovered something about myself re-reading it for the 4th time.

    I am mostly in Group 1, but I have a lot of Group 4 as well.

    When the topic doesn’t interest me, I resort to humor. In essence, I derail the meeting. Kind of childish actually.

    So I will be working on that as well.

  • A good leader will know how to lead a meeting to engage all four groups. Don’t you think?

  • Amanda B.

    Love this, Matt! Total group 2 here.. Just wrote down my mantras and I’m already feeling better today. Thanks!

    • That is AWESOME Amanda!

      Keep it up and add or subtract whatever you like. These are only starters. Put it in your own words and it will make a huge difference.

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