Why I Invited Indiana Jones to my Last Office Meeting

In Corporate there can be lots of meetings to dread.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (Indiana Jones and the...

This Guy Knows How to Add Adventure to a Meeting

They can be a face-to-face, a conference call, or even an annual review.

You may have monthly meetings that you’ve gone to for 5 years and been dreading them for the last 2.5.

They can be a struggle and leave you feeling burnt out, exhausted, and even hopeless.

You might think you’ve been hiding under the radar and putting on a happy face for these meetings, but I can tell you from experience that everyone else can smell it when you’ve checked out.

You know it and they know.

I see it every day.

A New Approach to Counteract Meeting Dread

I’ve been studying how people show up to meetings and I’ve got some really, really good news to share with you.

You don’t have to be bored anymore.

These meetings you’ve been dreading are actually a big opportunity for you to practice a career saving, business shifting, mind blowing skill.

And I’m going to share it with you here.

Doctor Jones, Doctor Jones

A few years ago I was exhausted from the litany of meetings and conference calls on my calendar.

They were absolutely killing my work mojo.

Then a friend offered me this secret.

Show up differently.

Intentionally show-up and embody the essence of someone else and see what happens.

Seriously?

Of course, the concept is to show-up to my very next meeting as someone that didn’t dread going to meetings.

It sounds difficult, but it’s really relatively easy.

All you have to do is think of someone that embodies a mood or a way of being that you want to replace the dread with.

I had nothing to lose as I was facing another miserable meeting.

I chose someone who embodies the spirit of adventure and excitement for me…

Indiana Jones

I thought about what it was like to be him in tough situations. How would he approach it?  How would he walk in and deal with the situation?

Indi never gives up hope, always is ready to try something new even when things look bleak, and has a sense of humor about it (consciously not choosing to bring any whips in).

Get a New Result in the Same Old Meeting (usually a better one)

I really, really enjoyed my first meeting as Indiana Jones.

I asked questions differently, thought differently, even walked in differently.

The overall result were even better than I’d been getting the last few months.

Best of all, it was much more fun!

You’ll also be interested to know that I’ve offered this approach to a few clients and they’ve gotten very positive results.

Here are a few people they’ve “called on”:

Meeting Ignition Exercise

So you might find it helpful to get a few steps to put this into use:

  1. Pick a meeting or activity that you’re dreading.
  2. Consider what mood or essence you’d like to bring to the moment i.e. empowerment, excitement, passion, curiosity, focus, or lightness…
  3. Who can you think of that embodies this?
  4. Try it on for your meeting
  5. Write down how it’s goes differently.

I can’t wait to hear how this little exercise goes for you in your next meeting.

Let me know in the comments below (if you want to keep it on the DL, you can add your comments under the name of the person you embodied).

Have fun igniting your meeting!
Ben
benfanning.com

2 Comments

  • Crazy Cat Lady

    Reply Reply March 15, 2012

    I had a summer job during college working on a factory floor. I remember my first week on the job was not very pleasant and I was feeling discouraged at the thought of this lasting all summer. A full-time coworker pulled me aside and said, “Don’t think of it as work, think of it as going to the zoo every day.” This proved to be advice I would keep with me throughout my career. I don’t think my coworker was saying to think of everyone as animals (most of them were not). What I learned was to look at my job through a different paradigm. When I go to the zoo, I am there to observe the creatures and learn something new. I am not focused on myself or my condition. Just as the creatures at the zoo are the center of attention, the “process” at work is the center of attention. So when I go to work, I try to remember to observe the “process” and learn something new; as opposed to focusing on “I like this” or “I don’t like that”. I think I will take this to a new level and try to invite the Zoo Keeper to my next meeting! (By the way, I had a blast that summer!)

  • benfanning

    Reply Reply March 16, 2012

    Thanks for adding your comment. I see your perspective as quite powerful to seeing new possibilities. Congrats!

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