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Whether you are attending a business briefing, a coaching meeting, an off-site or other learning opportunity how can you prepare yourself so that you get the best return on the investment of your time and money?

Having new eyes: Rather than treating the information as if you’ve seen it all before look for what is different about this presentation, the style of the presenter, the lens he or she is taking on the topic.

Conversation: If you look at the Latin roots of this word it is constructed of “con” together and “versare” to turn over or change. Speak up, be prepared to share your experiences and to ask others about their experiences, interpretations and anecdotes. Ask questions without fear of being considered ignorant, stupid or inferior. There is a high likelihood that you are articulating the unsaid in the team. Ask questions to encourage the presenter and to create interest in the team.

Quality of your listening: Be fully present, breathe, disconnect from the issues of your last meeting and turn your smartphone off. Don’t multi-task.

Curiosity: Be open to new possibilities and be curious about the speaker or presenter’s perspective, the mood of the room and the anecdotes shared by other participants.

Network: Find out about the other participants, offer to assist or connect them to people and resources.

Compassion: Allow yourself to experiment, try things on for size and consider each “failure” as providing you with more information on how to adjust your strategy, approach, style etc.

Mindset: How you can fulfil your Potential, 2012, Carol Dweck
Presence: How to use Positive Energy for Success in Every Situation, 2009, Patsy Rodenburg


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