When I think through meetings – how did it go, I ask myself – the perception can be negative. Sometimes our memories are influenced by how we are feeling, and feelings aren’t directly tied to reality. For example, if I go into a meeting not feeling great about myself or my talents, I might remember the meeting as being less successful. And if I go into a meeting feeling like the queen of my subject matter, I may leave the meeting overestimating the quality of my performance.

My mentor taught me a little trick. Write down exactly what happened, but none of the feeling-infused perceptions. Break down the event into its truths and occurrences, every detail of what people said, what they did, and the outcomes of the meeting. For example:

“My manager hated my idea.” – NO
“My manager told me the idea could not be implemented.” – YES

In the above example, I can’t make the first statement. I don’t really know how my manager felt unless he or she specifically said, “I hate your idea.” The more truthful statement will be what was actually said or what action was actually taken.


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