Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 18 2015

Here’s How You Need To Start Thinking About Change

By David McMillin



Change can feel very overwhelming in the convention industry. Maybe you want to completely redesign your trade show floor, and you’re worried about where to begin the process. Perhaps you’re considering a new job opportunity with a different organization, but you’re concerned the role will require a new skill set. No matter what type of change is on your mind, the future looks scary.

However, change doesn’t have to feel so daunting.

“We always think about change in big sweeps,” Mel Robbins, CNN analyst and author, told attendees at the 2015 PCMA Education Conference in Fort Lauderdale. “But it’s really the moments that actually count. Leveraging those moments is the secret to changing everything.”

In her closing keynote speech, Robbins highlighted that today’s busy digital landscape is wreaking havoc on the brain’s ability to approach the concept of making choices and making changes.

“Your brain is maxed out,” Robbins said as she discussed the many tasks on every meeting professional’s plate.

In addition to having too many responsibilities, Robbins stressed that everyone is dealing with an unprecedented level of self-doubt.

“Negative feelings are the way your brain stops you from taking game-changing action,” Robbins said.

So what’s the secret to overcoming those negative feelings? How can you manage to make changes in today’s tough business environment? The secret, according to Robbins, is the five-second rule. It’s not the traditional five-second rule that applies to the food you accidentally dropped on the floor, either. Instead, it’s about embracing a small change within five seconds of thinking of it.

“The second you have a game-changing idea, you have five seconds to act,” Robbins said.

Have a crazy idea about the need to completely restructure your sponsorship package? Send an email to your boss immediately. Get the urge to introduce yourself to a top business leader you recognize at a networking event? Start walking toward the visionary without giving your nerves a second thought. Robbins believes that if you give yourself too much time to consider a potentially risky move, you’ll develop reasons to avoid making it.

What’s the worst that can happen if you embrace the five-second rule, and something doesn’t work out? You might fail. However, that’s never a cause for concern.

“There’s no reason to be afraid of failure because you always learn something,” Robbins said.

Looking to learn even more from her thoughts on making adjustments to your approach in your personal and professional life? Click here to check out her Q&A in Convene.

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