Archive for February, 2007

Son of a Preacher Man

February 15, 2007

I was on the phone last night with the parents. You know, The usual meandering conversation which suddenly ended up, strangely enough, about how corporate meetings for meeting sake have now reached a stage where they are totally and completely unproductive (yes yes. we always have fun conversations).

My father, as if on cue and pedantic disclaimers aside, gave me 4 points of advice. Great advice that I thought was important to share. So here goes – my interpretation of what he said:

1) Prepare, prepare, prepare. This one is obvious, I know, but its shocking how often people get into meetings without preparing. And I don’t mean being armed with copious notes either. We’re talking a mental framework – points in the head that will help you vector any conversation the right way – an more importantly – will allow the conversation to result in the desired outcome.

2) Anticipate shortcomings and be prepared to field them. I guess it’s important to take a step back and evaluate things from another persons shoes. The key of course is this – If you anticipate, nothing is truly a surprise. And if nothing is a surprise, you can’t get flustered. It’s really that simple.

3) Be inclusive. When sharing a concern, inclusivity is an absolute must. Anything not inclusive is perceived as a complaint – which is, admittedly, not the best way to be perceived.

4) Irrefutable facts are, well, irrefutable! Allegations, suppositions, conjecture flying thick and fast? throw in an irrefutable fact and sit back.

So there you go. It’s incredible how a small, offhand comment can result in deep learning (and an incredibly boring blog post). But hey, It’s great advice. And great advice is worth 100  boring blog posts.