Strengthen Relationships by Minimizing Surprises
NO ONE likes to be put into an awkward position, particularly in front of others, and especially not in any "high stakes" situations. There's no better way to damage a working relationship than to drop a "bomb" in the lap of one of your colleagues in the form of an unexpected choice of topic or area of probing.
Surprises are not always intended but they do happen and they CAN be minimized through advanced preparation and scenario playing (thinking through, in advance, of what is likely to happen, what is likely to be discussed, and what potential areas of contention may arise in a meeting or conversation).
In advance of group meetings and conference calls, where you will likely have a speaking opportunity or will be leading the conversation, give careful consideration ahead of time to likely areas of conversation:
What things might you plan to highlight?
What sensitive topics might be discussed or probed on?
What areas of contention might emerge in the meeting or call?
Who will likely be affected by those things and topics?
Talk Ahead of Time. Develop a list ahead of time of those areas of conversation mentioned above, making note to whom those areas relate to or may affect. Speak to or meet with those individuals ahead of time. Let them know the things and areas you (or others) might bring up or probe on. Discuss those areas. Give them an opportunity to prepare for how they will respond.
Strengthen Relationships. Giving advance "warning" and notice will help develop your relationship with those individuals. Your level of trust will develop and strengthen as well.
What big meeting or conversation do you have coming up over the next week where it might be useful or beneficial to meet with participants ahead of time?
What will you do about that today?
Andy Robinson, Executive Coach AndyRobinson.Coach 239-285-5575 Andy@AndyRobinson.Coach "Helping CEO's and executives maximize their influence and impact."