Preparing Effective Meetings builds credibility, trust and professionalism.
I usually start off any session by introducing myself, the content of the workshop and asking the audience
to introduce themselves to me. On this particular occasion, I was in the Auckland office as 12 attendees
meandered into the room the usual 1 or 2 people who can't possibly make it on time arrive and
completely interrupt the room and Matt was one of them.
I explained that the day would provide people the ability to plan for a meeting, become more influential with their stakeholders and consistently achieve Win/Win outcomes.
Matt, one of the engineers, confidently yelled out, "Excellent, I have a meeting at 5pm today with a particularly difficult client and need to use these techniques today". As you can imagine the roof raised with laughter and I couldn't help but ask about his situation. This was the perfect case study for the course.
He explained this was a particularly difficult Project Manager that had kept asking for more whilst bringing agreed deadlines forward resulting in an inability to deliver on-time with the quality required. He also kept escalating every email request by copying every project team member and the Directors.
We introduced 6 steps to facilitating an influential meeting and Matt revealed a couple of crucial factors. Firstly, there was no meeting plan, agreed objective or agenda, no qualifying or clarifying questions prepared or possible objections considered. Therefore, every time they met to talk through his engineering solutions, Matt was completely derailed by something that was not on the agenda because there was no agreed agenda etc.
Having drafted his meeting plan he went off to his 5pm client meeting with a little more confidence feeling more prepared than previous encounters. No-one was going to derail him today.
The next day we asked him how it went. He described the meeting as an ambush. "Oh no..." I said. He quickly cut me off by saying, it was the most successful meeting to date, because although they did not achieve all the objectives, both parties walked away with acceptable actions striving to achieve a Win/Win rather than the proposed win/lose outcome both sides originally had set out to achieve.
Placing the client at the centre of what we do will always seek to desire Win/Win outcomes. Matt has now taken a role in Vancouver and has evangelised his skills with his clients in New Zealand and Canada whilst developing his career as a client facing electrical engineer and project manager.