6 Goals for Interactions with Others

If you are actively engaging your Most Valuable Players, you will find yourself in one of five situations:
  1. One-to-one: You talk with one other person
  2. One-to-a-few: You talk with a group of two to five others
  3. One-to-a-small-group: You talk with five to thirty others
  4. One-to-a-large-group: You talk with thirty to three hundred others
  5. One-to-a-very-large-group: You talk with more than three hundred others, including thousands of people

There are some important differences to consider for maximum engagement with each of these groups. I’ll write about those in the days ahead. Nevertheless, your primary objectives in every case are the same.

Six Goals for Interactions with Others
  1. Build trust. This is first. Without it, everything else falls apart. Surprisingly few leaders give it the importance and attention it deserves. First and foremost is to demonstrate graciousness and respect for your audience. Always remember that if you mess this up, they can take you out. You can’t do change alone.
  2. Seed the conversation. Come well prepared with your materials. Introduce only enough to initiate and guide the conversation. This is not a data dump. You are creating an opportunity for others to become engaged. Begin where they need to get on, and stop when you have said enough.
  3. Listen. This is active listening. Put yourself in their shoes. If you don’t understand what they are saying or feeling, ask. Demonstrate your intent to understand. Ask for clarification. I often say, “Can you say more about that? ” Then reflect back what you have heard. Prepare for your understanding to be incomplete or wrong. This is not a showstopper; in fact, asking for help to get it right is one of the most effective ways to garner enthusiastic support.
  4. Learn. Every interaction is your market research, so you can’t afford to get it wrong. Go into every conversation to increase your understanding. If it’s not happening, take the initiative to make it happen. Find ways for every person or group to become your teachers.
  5. Inspire. Share your vulnerabilities and enthusiasm. Learn how to express your emotions in your presentations. The word emotion comes from the Latin, movere, to move. You must move your audiences to action, and emotion is your key.
  6. Connect. Always provide support materials, tell people how to get in touch with you, and where to find more information. Each of these five audience sizes is unique. You will move on a continuum from the greatest sensitivity of one-to-one to the greatest boldness of one-to-a-large-group.
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4 Responses to “6 Goals for Interactions with Others”

  1. Very well done, Seth. Thank you. Concise, articulate. Good checklist for me to use. I’m adopting checklists into my practice so I do not have to concern myself about missing something. Like wise docs in the operating room.

  2. Thank you, Lowell. Sounds like you’ve been reading the Checklist Manifesto! I take it you liked it.

  3. I didn’t actually READ the book, Seth, I heard the author interviewed, and I have the audacity to feel that I “got it” without even reading the book! Whether or not I got it all, I got enough of it to see the value – and perhaps to be dangerous as well :). It’s like my approach to Dan Pink’s “Drive.” I have not read it but I am using Autonomy-Mastery-Purpose now in my work, and clients get it easily too. However, I am committed to actually read ‘Drive” very soon.

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