Passion can be defined as something that you feel strongly about and are deeply invested in emotionally. Following your passion in business can drive your professional success, especially in meetings. As Steve Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world.” This is the seventh in a 10-part series about what you can do to help your career in business meetings.
When you show your passion during meetings, you’re more likely to make other people excited and motivate them to cooperate with you. It also looks good in front of clients, colleagues, and bosses when you’re genuinely enthusiastic about the projects you work on with them.
But before you get too pumped up, it’s important to remember that the mantra of “follow your passion” can be misleading. Your passion can facilitate your ability to maintain your interest in your professional pursuits, but passion should also be tempered by rational decision making, hard work, and focus.
A balanced and rational approach to passion in business
Undisciplined or unguided passion can be counter-productive and even dangerous. That’s because expressing strong feelings can alienate and repulse people as much as it can attract and motivate people. The trick is to find a balance between what feels right and what’s logical, and that’s not always easy to arrive at. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re able to express your passion in meetings without putting people off:
- Consider the feelings of others – Everybody is at the meeting for a specific reason that may or may not align with yours. Knowing this gives you the opportunity to consider what you say ahead of time so you’re prepared in case you need to debate or justify your position. Other people feel passion too, and if your passions collide with theirs then it could undermine your mutual success which is the purpose of meeting in the first place.
- Back up your feelings with logic and facts – People tend to make decisions based on their emotional biases and then rationalize them after the fact with logic. This means that you need to be able to present your opinions during meetings in a way that resonates both emotionally and intellectually, or else your ideas won’t move forward. Your arguments will be strengthened when you support them with as much objective and rational information as you can.
- Focus on what matters – We’re all human beings and we all have egos to protect. This makes it easy to get distracted if you get too excited during meetings, especially if someone disagrees with you. During these times, it’s important to manage your pride and stay focused on the actual purpose of the meeting. One way to maintain your focus on productivity is through breathing exercises that you can do before, during, and after the meeting.
Your passion can provide you with the mental fuel to propel you towards having successful business meetings. You only need to balance your emotions, focus on what matters, and consider the needs of the people around you to make your passion work for you. If you do this, then there’s no limit to what you can accomplish during meetings, in business, and in life.