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As a front-line employee, you probably have a few ideas regarding how to change and improve your department or company. However, the thought of initiating change can often cause fear, as there are a number of risks involved in being a change leader.

Here is an effective technique to counter your fears and prepare for a meeting in which you will propose bringing about change. All you need is a pen, a paper and a mirror.

1. Visualise the meeting. Who will be there? Several people or only your boss? How will they respond to your proposal? The goal of this exercise is to anticipate the scenario to help you control it better.

2. Write down what you think you may feel during the meeting. List the ways you can make yourself feel good to overcome your nervousness. For example, if you are worried that you will forget to mention something crucial, use index cards at the meeting.

3. List the things that your boss might do to make you feel nervous. Then list those things that you might do to cause your boss to be less receptive. For example, perhaps you talk louder when you are nervous. Does your boss react badly to this? How can you prevent this? List the ways!

4. Rehearse. Now that you have noted possible areas of tension and ways to overcome them, it’s time to practise. Grab a mirror and rehearse for the meeting. Focus specifically on minimising your reaction to behavioural traits – yours and your boss’s – that make you nervous.

If you take the time to prepare for a meeting, it won’t be as intimidating as you think it will be. It will also help overcome your fear of proposing change and this will ultimately help both you and your company.

— Mazhar Lari and Ali Anis
The writers are lead consultants and trainers at Change 180. info@thechange180.com

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on August 21, 2011.