“You’re the expert, can you or can you not do this?”
Have you ever been in a meeting with a client or your team and had others admire your expertise and then ask why you can’t do the impossible, as if it should just be simple, and then ask you to do things that have nothing to do with your area of expertise?
Do you simply say the impossible can be done, or do you explain why it cannot? How do you react when people have that glazed-over look as if you’re speaking a foreign language? How do you react when they react as if you’re dumb for not being able to say, build a sturdy shelf out of cotton balls?
Alexey Berezin wrote a short story embodying the frustration of this very type of meeting that happens in board rooms and client meetings every day in every nation.
The story has been turned into a comedic video that captures the frustrations of this type of encounter. Before watching, be warned – you may tear your hair out by the end of the video, empathizing with the expert:
So what do you do? In that situation, do you give up and say you’ll draw red lines in invisible ink, or do you throw your hands up to the situation and surrender? While the video is hilarious, it is easily one of the most frustrating situations to be in, and even watching from afar makes our skin crawl and our psychic powers failed us as we watched, because we were mentally willing him to throw his blue dry erase markers at the client and team members.
No amount of meditation can prepare you for these types of frustrations, but maintaining your calm in every business meeting is critical, no matter how insane your team members or clients are.