If you want to be on a winning team, if you want your organization to succeed, you’ll need to develop your ability to discover your Worth It. A good place to start is your honest assessment of how you show up during business meetings. Are you in your power? Are you open and willing to learn? Or, are you empty and discouraged…


Perhaps you are already indoctrinated into that pernicious and mighty breed: The Disparaged Co-Worker.

Have you heard the Mating Call of the Disparaged Co-Worker?

It sounds like this: “What?! Another meeting?!”

The mating call of the Disparaged Co-Worker is always accompanied by facial contortions. That’s one of the easiest ways to spot ’em. The most common facial contortion is known as The Vally Girl `Oh I’m Soo Sure’ Eye Roll. You’ve seen that one, right? Where the person’s eyes roll so far back in their head, they look like a dead carp? This display is usually followed by the “Knowing Look”. Particularly nasty is the “Knowing Look” combined with the “We’re In This Together And It’s Going To Totally Suck” fake smile. When confronted with this level of false empathy, it’s almost impossible to avoid coupling. It just feels so goooood!

The Disparaged Co-Worker is genetically programmed to conduct negativity throughout organizations. Their survival depends on attracting mates through a combination of trendy clothes, nastiness, obviously-displayed health magazines, cologne and bad humor. I mean, how many times have you been hit on this week? How many invitations to blame and complain? How many exquisitely formed arguments for limitation? They’re multiplying like rabbits out there, people… and it’s our job to curb the population.

Let’s get real. Business meetings don’t just happen. They are not random events which victimize the powerless hordes. Nor are they dangerous, evil, or mal-intended. No one in your organization is being forced into a cold room by hooded abductors. Meetings are made up of YOUR team mates! They are created and delivered by you! I think we need a new bumper sticker: “I am the meeting I loathe.” Would that make the difference? How can we change the tidal wave of negativity? We need to discover our Worth It.

Please answer the following question: How many individuals does it take to ruin a meeting? Answer: Everyone in the room! If only one person allows themselves to be seduced by The Disparaged Co-Worker, soon everyone will drink from the cup. We love the dance, the surrender, the silky invitation to be right, to be RIGHT and to taste the forbidden fruit of supreme knowledge. Yes, yes come over here baby, it’s not your fault… we did the best we could, right? MMmmm Yesssssss…..

Whoops! There I go again. I was ready to give up writing the rest of this article, and just head for happy hour. It happens THAT fast. Unless you STAY STRONG, you will just be another floozy on the bar stool of business, another desperate wanna-be knocked around by life, full of one-liners and sad stories of reduced budgets, accelerated deadlines, or “poor training”.

Don’t do it! Don’t flex your pecs, don’t show your hem! Even if you really want to, you can stay strong. It takes effort. We must learn to wipe the sweat from our brow, hit “pause” on the Barry White cd, and say “No” to the seduction of blame and comfort. We can choose to keep our vows. We must, if we are to evolve… if our organizations are to win.

Hey, Business Superheroes, listen up: WE CAN WIN! It’s up to ALL of us to try. The first step is to realize that business meetings ARE the people in the room. They are a direct reflection of integrity, skill, professionalism, and intentions of the people on your team.

Most importantly, we must realize that business meetings are the primal ground of productivity. They are the arena where champions practice and demonstrate mastery of themselves. Meetings are where all of us, every one, practices with the tools, information and materials necessary to succeed. They one of the most important aspects of your professional careers. And only YOU can discover if you’re willing to do the work necessary to make meetings Worth It.

This begins when you are willing to FEEL what is most important to you. Bring your long-term vision with you to your next meeting. Align your actions with your vision. Speak from your true and giving heart. Listen with a keenness informed by kindness, and offer those things that help you to grow.

It’s Worth It.

David Ferrera

The Meeting Guy