|Fear of meetings - a common problem|
|Evidence based approach|
|What a fear of meetings really is|
|What a fear of meetings is typically like|
|What causes a fear of meetings|
|Approaches to dealing with a fear of meetings|
One of the more common problems we come across on The Fear Course is the fear of meetings. When we first started running the Fear Course I was a little surprised at the numbers of people who came on the course to deal with their fear of meetings. As a result of this I decided that we needed to conduct some research as there was relatively little known about this particular issue. In this article I am going to have a look at the fear of meetings; what happens, viagra generic buy viagra what causes it and some of the remedies. Before I do just a quick word about the way I work on such problems.
As you would expect with someone with a background in universities (I lecture at the universities of Oxford (Medical Sciences Division), best viagra buy Cardiff, look York, Essex, Oxford Brookes, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores and others) I insist that all the work we conduct through The Fear Course and all of the techniques used are based on good research evidence. This is not only to make sure that we have our facts straight but also to ensure that the treatment fits the issue and you get the very latest thinking and techniques available. When I first started running public courses, I was shocked at how many 'cures' for anxiety and panic were being pedalled, particularly on the internet. See the article on unregulated fear cures.
When I started to investigate this phenomenon I discovered some interesting things. Whilst people did indeed have a fear of meetings it turned out when I interviewed them more closely and conducted some 'in situ' observations at actual meetings, that it was more often than not a fear of speaking or being asked questions at meetings. Moreover it wasn't usually just any meeting that caused the anxiety. Often (but not always) small meetings of peers did not invoke a fear response. The deciding factor in many of the fears was one or all of the following:
- A manager or boss was going to be present, and/or
- People external to the sufferers immediate team would be present, and
- The individual would be expected to present some form of information, and/or
- They would be expected to answer questions in the open, or
- The format was a 'creeping death' round robin where everyone was expected contribute one after the other.
For some severe sufferers just the idea of any type of formal meeting, even one-to-one meetings can invoke anxiety and even panic. See the article on the difference between fear and panic.
People who suffer from a fear of meetings typically have similar symptoms which often start some time before the meeting. If there is a usual method of being informed that their presence is required at a meeting, for example via email or by a particular person, then it is likely that that method will become an anxiety trigger. So it quite likely that the individual will dread getting 'the' email and every email has the potential to trigger a heightened level of anxiety.
Once the individual has found out that they need to attend a meeting there is often a trail of anxiety leading up to the date of the meeting. Spikes in anxiety occur when the individual has to think about or do some task associated the meeting. Usually the anxiety is felt at this stage as quickening heartbeat, nerves or dread in the the stomach region and sometimes feeling sick.
The closer the meeting gets the the more severe the symptoms get. Often sufferers report that as the date of the meeting looms, particularly the day and evening before the date of the meeting, they find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on other tasks and that frequently the night before the meeting they do not sleep very well, reporting increasing levels of anxiety.
Before the meeting there are often feelings of flight, either the wish to go sick, or find something more important to do for example
At the meeting in question, sufferers find it difficult to engage with others just prior to the meeting commencing, often withdrawing. The anxiety increases as it gets closer to the time for them to speak. The symptoms are often particularly enhanced if there is a 'creeping death' process where people are required to talk in turn. When the person before the sufferer is talking, the sufferer finds it difficult to hear what is being said. Other symptoms often include:
- Increased heart rate
- Sweating palms
- Blushing or reddening of the skin particularly around the face and neck
- Getting hot
- Feeling like you want to run away or go to the toilet
- Mind going blank
- Weak voice
Often the peak of anxiety occurs just before the individual has to speak and can often continue for some time.
Whilst at first it appears this does appear to be a fear of meetings, it is usually better described as a fear of the feelings associated with meetings. Because of the experience of heightened levels of anxiety and sometimes panic before and during the meeting, suffers tend to find that as they start to notice the symptoms they quickly get into a spiral and the symptoms rapidly become worse. As this happens the association between 'meetings' and the anxiety or panic strengthens and the condition gets worse.
The typical rationale or cause that initially sits behind a fear of meetings include:
- Not wanting to look stupid or daft in front of others
- Not wanting others to notice your nervousness
- Not wanting to get things wrong or fail
- Not enjoying being highlighted or at the 'front'
- Feeling exposed
- Feeling under pressure
There are a number of approaches to dealing with a fear of meetings. These include:
- Hypnosis - works for some but many find it only gives temporary relief.
- NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming - often works well for many people initially but then many find the effect wears off after a while.
- Psychoanalytical approaches - can work well for some people, however it can take some time to be effective and often requires a lengthy period of intervention by a specialist.
- CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques - again works well for most people and can have a sustained effect. This is often an extension of NLP techniques.
- TFT or Thought Field Therapy. - Can effective for many people if they can engage with it. Some find it a bit 'way out there'.
The approach we have found tends to not only work the best but also has a more permenent effect is to include some of the more powerful elements of NLP, CBT and TFT however the key appears to be to:
- Show people how to first find, and then
- Quickly kill or dishabituate the fear triggers,
- Give you some techniques that we developed for the emergency services and disaster managers to fairly well instantly deal with the fear in the moment and then,
- Show you how to develop new habits of confidence in any situation.
We have both live courses and theonline Fear Course which uses the best and most up-to-date evidenced based tools available. Why don't you have a look? All of our courses are fully guaranteed and fully comply with the requirements of the International Therapeutic Standards.
On the Fear Course you will
What you will be shown
What really makes you nervous, be prepared for a surprise.
How one part of your brain fools another so you can feel the fear anytime anywhere.
Why your fear is irrational and why knowing this doesn't help one bit
What really triggers your anxiety - I bet it's not what you think it is.
The things you are almost certainly doing now that makes your nerves worse.
How to find and kill your fear triggers in the most enjoyable way possible.
Techniques that will your kill nerves in seconds or even faster - you will feel these working on the day.
How to stop nerves and anxiety before they even start.
Let's not stop there, killing fear is just part of the story. How to build confidence for any situation and for the rest of your life.
You will leave with a complete set of resources and materials and I will also give you a year-long confidence course for free.