You arrive to work in the morning and within minutes you find out that HR would like to meet with you. This unexpected meeting can immediately cause butterflies to well up in your stomach and you are overcome with nerves. You might find yourself stressed because you aren’t sure what to expect, what the topic of the conversation will be, or how to prepare yourself for it. Do your best to take a deep breath and calm your anxiety before entering the meeting. Try the following tips to stay cool, calm, and collected during a meeting with HR.
Control Your Emotions
Whenever we feel like we are caught off guard, our defenses go up and our emotions tend to get the best of us. The problem with this is that when emotions take over, our ability to reason is much lower. Therefore, keep your mind focused on the conversation at hand and don’t allow your mind to succumb to your emotions.
It is human nature to assume the worst, but just because you are being called in to HR doesn’t necessarily mean you have done something wrong. There are a number of reasons why HR might need to meet with you, so don’t let your mind spin out of control thinking it has to be something bad. You will end up stressing yourself out and inhibiting your ability to think clearly. Instead, go into the meeting with an open mind and be ready to listen.
Be Aware of Your Defensiveness
Whenever we are questioned about something we are quick to get defensive. However, this might not sit well with your manager. Instead of blurting out your point of view, be patient and listen to what the HR manager has to say. Take the time to ask open-ended questions so that you will have a clear understanding of the issues. Try to focus on what is being said rather than firing back and commenting every chance you get. Your manager will appreciate your maturity in listening rather than quickly getting defensive.
Try to See Things from Their Point of View
All too often we are quick to defend ourselves and even be offended when we feel accused; however, it is important to remember that HR is simply doing their job as well. If something that is being said doesn’t make sense to you, ask them to clarify their position. Reduce tensions by coming up with a solution together and try utilizing language that includes we and us. You want to be open minded while also showing your manager that you are willing to come up with a solution that works for everyone.
Slow Down and Take Your Time
When our nerves get the best of us we tend to talk quickly and try to get everything out in a matter of minutes. The fact is, neither of you needs to explain every detail in the first five minutes of the conversation. Slow down the conversation and take your time explaining your point of view, asking questions, and clarifying the issue.