Do Cynics Sabotage Your Meetings?

"How do I handle the cynics?"  

My client asks me with worry in his eyes.

He's about to break some news in his departmental meeting and he knows there's a small number of people who potentially won't buy into the new 'regime'.

He's anxious... he's sweating and he's almost sabotaging himself before he's started...

What if they start...

  • Sniggering.
  • Challenging me in front of colleagues.
  • Sighing loudly .
  • Looking at their phone and ignoring me?

Indeed - what if?

Ok - You know exactly what I'm talking about - you've been there yourself... when people have piped up...

"I've got work to do, is this relevant to me?"

"What's the point in this?"

I've come up against cynics - I work with a lot of lawyers!! Tee hee - they tell me it's natural for them to be cynical - and not to take it personally. Ok thanks, I won't!

And you shouldn't either!


even these so-called cynical people usually sign-up to my 'practical' interactive masterclasses ("Aarrhhh help, is she going to make me actually do something?" They think).

"Bring on the cynics"

That’s what I say.  They always take something valuable away - even if the process is painful!

I've learnt to be ready for the cynics.  So I'm prepared.

You can be ready for your cynics too - so you can park that worry and get on with your master plan.

Remember this.  You’re in charge of your meeting and what you say.

The cynics will only sabotage your meetings - if YOU let them!

They are like a virus and can quickly spread the cynical-nastiness unless you nip it in the bud fast!

So here are my top 5 cynics busting tips: 

  1. Weed them out early - don't open yourself up to it.  Call the meeting off if you are sure it’s going to be public death by sabotage!

    Opt for one-to-one conversations instead (at least you won’t be shown up).
  2. Seat people next to someone they don't know -  (you can find a reason to do this, networking opportunity with colleagues is always a good excuse, and good for business).

    Or sit them next to you (yes, like the naughty school kid).
  3. Kill with kindness - generosity, humour, laughter, ooze, warmth smile at all times!!!

    Seriously, eyes and teeth all the way on this one - this will make you look relaxed and effortlessly confident (even if you're dying inside).
  4. Do not get defensive - chippy, on the back foot or argumentative - breathe and pause if your blood starts boiling with rage.
  5. Remain strong -  physically stand tall with broad shoulders - keep smiling!

    (You know my power pose tips right?)

Snarky cynics aren't happy with themselves, something isn't quite right with them.  They feel secretly insecure and so they feel better when they can drag someone below them.  It’s a constant power struggle for them. It's not you - don't take it personally. Do your best and go for it.

Remember, give the audience what they need. You don't have to pander to them.

If you’d like more oomph, more confidence and more strategies when it comes to speaking-up with confidence and influence contact me NOW!  I can help.

“Esther’s tips are invaluable… I really got my head in the right place… more please.”

Deloitte LLP

Esther Stanhope