It's happened before; it will happen again.
You're running late but you are able to step into the elevator just before the doors begin to shut - excellent! You take a deep breath to relax a bit and, as you do, you notice that you're not alone. Standing right beside you is a key company executive ... Looking right back at you.
OMG, what should I say? I can't just ignore him. I've got to say something. But what?! Can't this elevator go any faster? Why can't this elevator go any faster?
Classic good news/bad news situation, this is. You've suddenly got some incredible face time in front of an exec, but you're not ready to do anything meaningful with it.
If only I knew this was coming. If only I had been more prepared.
You try smiling and hope to leave it at that. But it doesn't' work - the elevator's going too slow. You know
you have to try and say something.
So you do. But it comes out sounding really lame. You feel your embarrassment growing further.
Why is this happening to me? Why is this happening to me ... Again?
Oh, it never has happened to you, you say? Right. If it wasn't in an elevator, it's likely to have been in a conference room, or hallway, or parking lot, or on a phone call, in the bathroom, or at the train station, etc. because it happens all the time.
Want the antidote? It's called getting ready. Here's what you do:
- Take out a clean sheet of paper and write down the names of all the people who'd likely make you tongue-tied if they appeared in this elevator scenario.
- Figure out - as in, ahead of time; as in, for the next time - what you want to say to/ask of each of them in the event that they do show up right next to you.
- Review and update your list regularly.
Good. Now take another deep breath. And get back on that elevator! You're ready.
Labels: Success at Work