How-To-Control-Your-Emotions-In-A-Meeting-with-Kathy-Archer - Meeting Leadership Podcast Episode Image

Controlling your emotions in any professional capacity is a useful skill; controlling them during meetings is vital to becoming an effective leader.

Most of us hear that we need to control our emotions at work and think “obviously, but easier said than done”. For listeners who want more tangible advice on this subject than the obvious, episode #050, we brought in Leadership Development Coach Kathy Archer, author of Mastering Confidence: Discover Your Leadership. 

Kathy’s expertise in controlling one’s emotions is on display throughout our discussion, where we covered such topics as:

  • Overcoming “the overwhelm” in your professional life
  • How to fight off “imposter syndrome” at meetings
  • The importance of emotional intelligence 
  • Recognizing emotional triggers and preparing for them
  • The IF-THEN Implementation plan

There are many more nuggets of wisdom contained therein, and we also included a link to an additional download curated by Kathy Archer ( This is a can’t-miss episode for leaders who want to drive home the confident control team members will not only respect, but seek to emulate.

Kathy Archer

Kathy Archer - Meeting Leadership Podcast - Effective Meetings

Leadership Development Coach Kathy Archer provides ongoing training to grow women leaders in Canada’s Non-Profit Organizations. Kathy’s online Training Library offers affordable, relevant, and practical new content every month teaching leaders the inner and outer tools to restore their lost confidence so they can move from surviving to thriving in both leadership and life.

In Kathy’s Amazon Best Seller, Mastering Confidence: Discover Your Leadership Potential by Awakening Your Inner Guidance System, she shows you how to develop your inner confidence so you can have the impact you desire in work and in life.

You can get in touch with Kathy Archer at –

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00:00 – Show opening

 Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

00:27 – Podcast starts here

Gordon Sheppard Speaking 

 Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, where we give you the practical tips and the strategies that you need to build your leadership skills and also to learn how to run outstanding meetings. It is great to have you here. Today on the show, we’re going to dig into a skill that every leader must have, because today we’re going to talk about how to control your emotions in a meeting.

To help you learn how to do this, we are bringing on an expert. Her name is Kathy Archer. Now Kathy runs Silver River Coaching, and so much of what she specializes in is really helping leaders learn how to dig out of the overwhelm and also overcome the impostor syndrome. Kathy is going to be sharing some of her best tips, so I’m not going to make you wait any longer. Here’s the interview with Kathy Archer.

01:15 – Welcome, Kathy Archer!

Gordon Sheppard: Kathy, welcome to the show. It is great to have you here.

Kathy Archer: Thanks Gord.

01:20 – Overcoming the overwhelm

Gordon Sheppard: I really know you in your coaching mode and the big piece in there that I takeaway from the work that you do with leaders is really getting them out of the overwhelm. I mean, that’s just such a gift that you’re bringing to the work that you do, but there’s a lot of people listening today that really don’t know who you are, so take a moment to give us an intro to what you do.

01:38 – Fighting off imposter syndrome

Kathy Archer: Thanks Gord. I am a leadership development coach that comes from a background of being a leader, so I know all about the overwhelm and I know how impostor syndrome hits us, and we struggle with everything that’s on our plates. What I do now is I support primarily women leaders in Canada’s non-profits, helping them deal with that overwhelm, helping them deal with that impostor syndrome to restore that lost confidence so they can get out of survival mode, which is where many leaders live, and get back into thriving as a leader, and in their life.

Gordon Sheppard: This is such a gift, and that impostor syndrome, that idea of I’ve got the title, I’m in the chair, I’m the one who’s supposed to be driving, but they don’t believe it internally. You’re able to help them stitch that all together.

Kathy Archer: Absolutely. It’s a combination of the thoughts, developing their belief in themselves, but it’s also about the skill development, and it’s balancing both of those, because I think we often get caught with one or the other, but it’s a combination of how we believe we can serve and what we can do, and how we apply the skills and gifts and talents that we have.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, that is a really great setup into what we’re going to be doing today on the show to help leaders, because today we’re going to be talking about how to control your emotions in a meeting, and when you come to this area of your work, what’s the first thing that you want people to know?

03:01 – Emotional intelligence is critical to controlling emotions

Kathy Archer: This is key to the work that we do. Emotional intelligence is something that’s bantered around out there, but it’s such a critical component. It’s something that’s not taught, and it’s the thing that often gets in the way of leaders really truly doing the work that they are meant to do, because we try to shut our emotions off, and tune them out, and especially for women leaders which as I said earlier, is a lot of the work that I do, we’re afraid to show our emotions or express our emotions. That’s what gets in the way often during conversations.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, and the guys I can tell you, the guys do not have a problem expressing their emotions, and it’s a neat time these days. I saw something on the internet the other day, it said only 208 years, according to some global study, for women to come to parity around the world. There’s just that single digital representation on boards across Canada, for sure, for women, and I think we’re seeing that around the world.

Gordon Sheppard: Now, things are changing, but like you’re saying, they can’t change fast enough. This emotional component of leadership, when people are in a meeting, how important is it to, you’re trying to put up a good face and maintain composure, but what’s the reality of what’s going on in a meeting?

04:11 – Recognize your emotional triggers and prepare

Kathy Archer: The reality of what’s going on in a meeting is there’s so much going on under the hood. Somebody says something and your mind [inaudible] in like a millisecond, and in those thoughts that are going on in your mind you’re like, “He’s a jerk, she’s ticking me off. Nobody believes in me. They don’t care about this project. They did this last time.” All of that stuff triggers all of these emotions inside of us, and if we don’t learn to manage those emotions, they’ll hijack us is what happens.

Kathy Archer: When we don’t prepare for them, and we get hijacked, that’s when we yell, roll our eyes, freak out, shut down, tune out, leave the meeting, shrug your shoulders and say whatever, and none of that moves the meeting forward. That’s ultimately at the end of the day, what the issue is. We go into meetings because we want something productive to happen, but if we’re shutting down, tuning out, freaking out, then we’re not going to be very productive in that meeting.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, and from a leadership perspective, I always bring in the fact that meetings cost money and if you look at them as the micro building blocks, they actually drive your entire organization. Every one of them, for leaders, should count. What you’re getting us into here today, around emotional control in a given meeting, what are some of the solutions then that you bring to your clients to help them deal with this?

05:38 – What am I bracing myself for?

Kathy Archer: What I tell clients to do is you need to prepare for meetings and you need to prepare emotionally for meetings. What we often do is we prepare the agenda but we don’t prepare what’s going to set us off during the meeting. What I want leaders to do, and what I coach them to do in the work that I do is to tune into those fears, those worries, those doubts, those hesitations, and I encourage them to ask the question of themselves, “What am I bracing myself for?”

Kathy Archer: We don’t often think about that, but I’m sure that just as I said that, “What am I bracing myself for?” You’re like, “Oh yeah, when I go into a meeting, I’m prepared for somebody’s reaction, I’m prepared for somebody’s body posture. I’m preparing for somebody to throw me under the bus.” That’s what I want people to do, is ahead of time, start to think about, “What am I bracing myself for?” Does that make sense?

Gordon Sheppard: It makes total sense. I can tell you one of the things I’ve gotten caught in before, because I come at my work honestly, independently, based on so much of the suffering that I had in meetings when I was in a corporate setting. When you phrase it that way, it’s immediately easy to absorb, immediately makes me think about some of my own experience, and then if you can help get that into people’s minds, then they can actually really prepare for it.

06:56 – Form an IF-THEN implementation plan 

Kathy Archer: Exactly. I think when you say, “What am I bracing myself for?” You feel it viscerally, right? You know that when you walk into a meeting, you’re turning away from certain people in that meeting, or emotionally turning away from certain topics. Yeah, you’re looking at, “What is it that I’m afraid of? What’s going on in my head?” Once people can identify that, then what I get them to do is start to look at what’s called and if/then implementation plan. This comes from Gabriel Oettingen who does a four part strategy called WOOP.

Kathy Archer: And I’ve given Gord the link so he’ll put it in the notes I’m sure, but basically part of it is if/then implementation plan, if this happens, then what are you going to do? When you prepare for that person’s sarcastic comment, or when you prepare for that person to cross their arms, or you’re ready for that comment that’s going to come that undermines you, you can be prepared ahead of time to go, “You know what? If or when that comment comes, I’m going to feel the hit of it, socked me in the gut or knocked me off my feet or whatever it does, and I’m just going to slow down half a millisecond and take a deep breath, and regain my composure before I say anything.”

Gordon Sheppard: I just need to pick up on the visceral part of what you’re saying, this idea of the practicing and getting ready for it, that you’re helping people to really anticipate and get it physiologically under your skin.

Kathy Archer: Well, imagine a batter preparing to bat. What do they do? They swing without a ball how many times, right? That’s what we’re doing. We’re getting ourselves ready. We know what happens in meetings. 99% of meetings, something knocks us off kilter, so when we can prepare for that ahead of time, you still might get hit, you still might get tripped up, but the chances are better when you prepare that you’re going to handle it differently.

Gordon Sheppard: And like we said earlier, if you can get this under control as a leader, then I’m going to say your meeting return on investment, the effort that you’re putting in to actually lead that meeting is going to be significantly higher.

09:02 – Role-modeling for team members

Kathy Archer: Exponentially, and as a leader, you’re role modeling for the other people in the meeting. I mean, everybody in the room knows that somebody just did something to you, right? And so when you have that ability to step back and take a deep breath and slow down before you respond, or react in most cases, everybody’s watching you going, “Wow, what just happened there? They kind of handled that, and that’s kind of neat. I want to do that, too.” You’re role modeling that for the people around you.

09:34 – Episode recap

Gordon Sheppard: That is a great gift. We could keep talking obviously, this is really wonderful information. I’m going to take a second to recap the key points from what we’ve been talking about. The first one was to set aside time to prepare, the second one is to ask yourself, “What am I bracing myself for?” And then finally, if you can get this if/then strategy in, and really take on the best of what say a professional athlete does, which is to practice, practice, practice, then you’re going to be in a much better position to control your emotions during a meeting.

Kathy Archer: Absolutely.

Gordon Sheppard: Kathy, it was invaluable to have you on the show. Thank you so much for being here.

Kathy Archer: You’re very welcome.

Gordon Sheppard: Now, there was just a ton of takeaways in that interview, but one of the big ones for me was ask yourself, “What am I bracing myself before I go into a meeting?” This is this idea of checking yourself, getting into the room and being present as opposed to anticipating what somebody else is going to do. I think as a leader, if you can actually get this one under your belt, you will go a long, long way.

10:37 – Free Download from Kathy Archer –

Gordon Sheppard: I also want to remind you that Kathy is providing a great free download from this episode and you can get that by going to If you’d like to get in touch with Kathy directly, then visit If you enjoyed listening to Kathy as much as I enjoyed interviewing her, then you’ve got a few more opportunities to get some great tips from her again coming up on the show.

11:03 – More from Kathy Archer –

Gordon Sheppard: In episode 61, she’s going to share how leaders can remain calm during heated meetings. You can get that episode by going to And then in episode 83, Kathy is going to share one of her most inspiring leadership stories and we can all learn from that. You can get that episode by going to

11:28 – Meeting Leadership Academy –

Gordon Sheppard: I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now, if you and your team are looking for great live training options and online training options to help you build your leadership skills, and learn how to run outstanding meetings, then visit to learn more. And as always, thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

11:53 – Podcast Outro

Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader, and don’t forget to write that review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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