READ THE ROOM!!!  See what is present.  See what is here, NOW! What does that mean to you? When coaching for businesses I teach reading the room as the ability to “feel” what emotions are present. Knowing or sensing the emotions that is in a TEAM setting, or a facilitation of a workshop, will help you in delivering the message you want to make an impact with.

Why is that important? Say you have a strong initiative that needs introduction and implementation.  It is going to take more time than your associates have been used to, it is new and unfamiliar ground, and may need some skills enhancements.

Fear will enter the room.  Fear of not being able to complete the project on time.  Fear of not having the ability to do the project.  Fear of looking bad.  Fear of not being enough.  Fear of dealing with family members when they have to work extra hours”¦Fear is present. Being able to read the room and name the fear will make the anxiety less ominous.  Less big, more manageable.

Naming the type of fear will also help set the stage for an action plan to deal with it.  Sometimes your associates or teammates just need to know they are being heard, or that they aren’t alone in feeling the way they do.

Often times the fear can be masked with anger, sadness, or shame.  The anger can be passive aggressive, or even covert with backroom politics.  The sadness can show up in a defeatist attitude or the victim.  And shame can be the most paralyzing of all the emotions.  I look at shame as the definitive message of “You didn’t make a mistake”¦YOU ARE the mistake.”

Regardless of what you encounter.  The key to successfully engaging your audience is the acute ability to Read the Room.