Every meeting with anyone has potential for magic. Or disaster. Greater risk rests in not being insufficiently prepared or not getting along – but the greatest risk of all is the missed opportunity.
Going into meetings with or without expectations – wondering what to bring, what to plan, what to expect?
Take a blank pad, pen and an open mind.
When we meet people on purpose or by accident we are always pitching for something – work or business or convert someone to our point of view – we are there because someone invited us, someone accepted our handshake or took our call, someone showed up, someone made an impression. Then comes the second guessing; during the meeting, after the meeting – questioning what comes next, who needs to say something or do something which moves things along?
So, what comes next?
I find ‘after the meeting’ thinking, strategizing and execution is far more work than preparing. Preparing, if being well prepared is required, is hard. Doing the ‘after the meeting’ part can be harder on many levels.
For most of us today is our first work day of the year – a year of many meetings.
Are you prepared?
Who will you meet? Why?
Or a chance meeting?
Larry Kendall wisely pointed out to me, there is opportunity everywhere. Most people aren’t open, tuned-in or willing to see the wealth, breadth and depth of it.
Most meetings are neither long or cleverly planned – just chance meetings. Like that ringing phone or the person next to you at a luncheon table, an opportunity waiting for us if, but only if, we are aware and listening. We need a pen, a blank piece of paper and a practiced skills to ask questions and the practiced wisdom to shut up and listen to the answers. Listen for change. Listen for pain. Listen for good information about people and their lives – their family, their job, their recreation and their dreams. We all love to talk about our lives. Recognize that – listen, take notes, have a great meeting.