Nothing does not go better when you come in prepared. This is very vital for a business especially during business meetings. Be it physical or through the phone, there are some things that you must be ready for. Ken shares his method of preparation – preparing three questions and three answers. He urges us to do the same for every meeting and stresses the importance of seeking understanding in order to be understood.
Listen to the podcast here:
This episode is going to be titled Every Meeting. I got the inspiration for this talk from my daughter, Kara. I have done podcasts from a lot of interesting locations to say the least, but I’ve never done a podcast where I was in a 200 and some odd-year-old hotel. The floors creak at every opportunity. It is so loud and echoey in every room of our suite here and there’s no escaping it. I had to make a sound cloud. I’m sitting on my bed and I have three massive pillows on my ankles. I have two very large pillows at a 45-degree angle facing me. I’m making what’s called a sound cloud so that my voice goes right into this laptop. Anything that goes past the pillows, by the time it bounces off the walls, it hits the pillows again, it protects the microphone. This is by far the most interesting setup I have had to orchestrate to make a podcast.
I am there to seek understanding before I’m understood. Click To Tweet
My daughter, Kara, is interviewing at William & Mary and we’re spending a couple of days bonding with her and talking with her. I was very intrigued as my daughter, Kara, has had a few referrals step up that wanted to speak to my daughter to possibly write her a letter of recommendation. I was in the front seat of the car as we were driving here and I overheard Kara take a phone call. I realized that I subconsciously have a rule when I walk into every meeting or I’m doing a meeting on the phone. I mentally prep myself with three questions. I then prep three answers before I pick up the phone or walk through the door.
I personally think these have helped grow our company exponentially. I know that my brother Bill, Mike, some of the other people that have been around with me for more than a decade, I’ve noticed they do the same thing and I’ve rubbed off on them a little bit. I want you to think to yourself, what if you had done the three different questions that I’m about to talk about before all of your prior meetings in the past decade? Would those meetings have ended differently? Before I walk into the door, I ask myself, “What three questions might they or are they probably going to ask me if I were them?” If I was them and I was going to have this person walk into my office, what three questions would I ask Ken? What three questions would I ask of this company?
The second thing you ask is, “Why might they ask that question? Are they intrigued? Are they skeptical? Are they nervous? Are they very excited? Why might they ask the questions that you presuppose they might ask?” When you start doing this dance, you’re going to realize how unprepared you probably are for that meeting. First and foremost, what questions might they ask me? Number two, much more importantly, why might they ask me these questions? Number three, what would be a couple of responses that are well-thought out, practiced, polished to where this person that is sitting across the table realizes I am there to seek to understand before I’m understood? I’m not there just to dump on them and show my worldly wisdom about whatever this niche meeting is about. I’m there to seek understanding, find out exactly what it is they’re looking for, and see if we can build a win-win for whatever it is. I hope this helps.