The One Powerful Action You Need to Take (That Too Many Leaders Forget)

Maximizing Networking Opportunities

  • Find out people you know in common
  • Identify three items that got your attention (where they worked, roles they had, events they participated in, where they went to school, recent announcements from their company, cool hobbies, interesting trips, etc.)
  • Prepare a couple of questions you can ask them — to get them talking about themselves
  • Consider at least one way you can deliver value to them (and it isn’t selling your product or service!). You can pivot as you meet them and learn more, but have some ideas in mind before you ever connect with them.

Running Effective Meetings

  • Don’t invite people out of habit. Determine who needs to be in the meeting and invite only those people.
  • Make sure you convey the purpose of the meeting you called and send out an agenda in advance. If people don’t know why they are meeting, you’re guaranteeing sub-par results.
  • Let people know what information needs to be digested in advance or brought to the meeting.
  • Identify, if possible, how your attendees prefer to consume information: visual, verbal, hard copies, digital format. Prepare your content accordingly.
  • How you open the meeting sets the tone for the whole meeting. Script out how you want to kick off the meeting. Practice the delivery, so that it sounds natural and sets the right tone for your meeting.
  • If you have an assignment for the meeting, make sure it is complete. If it involves analysis, ideas, or reporting, come prepared to deliver your content. You are demonstrating reliability and responsibility. You can begin to hold others accountable after you first demonstrate the behaviors you are looking for in others.

Ensuring Effective Communication Takes Place

  • Short and to the point? Even if others regard it as rushed or abrupt?
  • Safe and non-threatening? Even if others perceive that it takes a looooooooong time to get to the point?
  • With logic and facts to back it up? Even if pages of data make someone else’s eyes glaze over?
  • You need to find how your target audience prefers to receive communications.
  • You can’t modify your communication style in every interaction. But when the stakes of poker are high, then the preparation to speak in THEIR default communication style is important. Maybe necessary.
  • Observe them — see if they focus on relationship or task, go fast or slow.
  • If you’re unsure, ask someone who knows them.
  • You can also utilize Crystalknows, a Chrome extension on LinkedIn, which uses AI and is based on what is found online to develop a behavioral profile. The Crystalknows profile will suggest proper ways to communicate with them or negotiate with them.
  • Once you understand their behavioral style, you can properly prepare your messaging.
  • If you are delivering verbal instructions, ask them to repeat back their understanding of what you’ve told them. It may sound awkward, but it is remarkably effective to eliminate confusion and misunderstanding.

Handling unexpected events and the actions of others

  • What if material costs go up?
  • What if our suppliers are backlogged?
  • What if we lose electricity?
  • What if our project leader gets sick?
  • What if they double the size of the order?
  • What if they want us to pay upfront?
  • What if they only give us 30 minutes for this meeting?
  • Maximizing networking opportunities.
  • Running effective meetings
  • Ensuring quality communication takes place
  • Handling unexpected events and the actions of others

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