So .. What do you do?

1:47 AM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

This article is a continuation of the "Hi! How are you ... ". The key-point of that article is how to connect with people in this article we will bring it to the next level, where we going to connect two type of people (fast pace and slow pace) together in a workplace.  Again I got this from Joe Pici's learning CD. I'm connecting to some experience I had during my years as computer engineer and trying to convince my superior.  

Source : Freephotos4all

Let me set some scenario here.  At your workplace and there are some issues with the corporate computer system.  Upon routine system check you found a pre-mature sign of system degradation and it is an unanticipated risk.  Following further investigation, you got to the source of the problem and certain part need to be upgraded.  The upgrade is costly and company is currently performing a cost cutting measure on selected business operation. 

If not resolve, in 6 month, corporate computer system will be experiencing full outage, and it will be impacting overall organization operation.  Your superior have just left the company few weeks ago and a new superior just reporting for less than 2 weeks. The new superior do not have the same computer background as you do. So ... what do you do?

Source: Freephotos4all

These are some ideas on how to use "Hi .. how are you ..", make the connection and score. 

Please note that not that result may varies with different people and organization. The ideas given is based on a successful mission experienced by me back in those years ...  

Ready??? Let's see how things work here ...

First Build the Connection

At the hallway or before the superior hit his desk, you should greet him with the normal "Hi .. how are you? .... how's the traffic today?".... you definitely will get a warm response from him.  Remember, do not go straight to the point, we are building the connection here.  

Next Identify which type of person he is ... whether he is a fast pace or a slow pace..

To know whether he is a fast pace or slow pace person, look at how he enter the office.  Does he say hi to people around him since he is new to the company... from there we can assume,  whether he is a fast pace or a slow pace.  Next, look at his shirt pocket, is he slipping a pen or not and what type of pen that he use.  You can observe it at the beginning conversation.  If he is not wearing a pen on his shirt pocket, high likely he is not a detail person.  He might be a forgetful person.  If he is wearing a pen, look at the type of the pen, is it a normal ball pen or some expensive one like Parker or etc.  If it is a normal ball pen, that's an indication he is a slow pace person.  He need fact, figures and logic in order to make decision and he is quiet firm with his decision.  If the pen is fancy and looks expensive, then he like style and quite serious about self-grooming.  This is a tell tale saying that he is a fast pace person.  How did I know this ... it is through experience and a discipline called profiling (we will discuss this in other article).

In this case, my new superior is a well dressed and having an expensive pen on his shirt. He greeted everyone he meet. So I assume that he is a fast pace person. We will then go to the next level.

Talking to Fast Pace people

To talk with fast pace we need to show some energy and enthusiasm. Show how well you know the corporate computer system and articulate it enthusiastically.  Use simple language to explain the issue and straight away shows the benefits, the solution and the result.  

When he asks questions, he usually starts to pay some attention. Do not have long pause to think. If you did that, he will think that you didn't know your material and he will move on. 

The objective of your conversation would be to call for another meeting to show more detail solution and result and then connect them with finance people.

One conversation idea that you can use to connect him with finance:

1.  “Once we clear with the detail solution and results … would it be beneficial to you if we can get finance people to sit with us so that we can get some sponsorship to move forward?”

He will normally agree since you've guided him with information and opportunity to make decision. Send him an email or some memo stating the meeting place and time after this conversation.

Meeting has been set with him, now is to get to the finance people to sponsor the upgrade.  Finance people are usually slow paced people.  Without proper documentation, logical and systematic explanation, it is very hard to get some buy in from them.  So what do you do?

Talking to Slow Pace People

With finance people, you need to go slow with them, get some time with them to sit down explaining what happen, then share the problem that you’re facing, and what support that you need from them.

You can start the conversation with this idea below:

1.  “Hi Lee (name is fictitious), how are you?  I’m glad that you can spend some time with me to discuss on some issue that I’m facing right now …” .. then finished your sentence with the rest of the issue.

Don’t get their decision yet because they will need more from you if you want to get their decision.  Systematically show them your plan of action and mention when they will be needed for a meeting. Some idea that you can use in the conversation:

1.  “I’m going to show you the solution here and how much is needed to achieve this solution …. I really need your support to deliver this solution … but I don’t need your final decision now … I’ll give you sometime to digest this…”

Offered some hand on what do they need from us in order to get buy in from them. Usually, they will ask to follow this and that procedure, fill in some forms and etc.  Some idea in this conversation:

1.  “What can I do for you to expedite your assessment … can you show me some procedure that I can use or forms that I can fill?”

Take note and do not respond or comment to their request immediately, come back to them later. This will give some indication to them that you’re studying the procedures and forms given and they will appreciate such gesture.

Connecting Slow Pace People and Fast Pace People

With fast pace people, after you've done with the follow up meeting showing the detail solution and result, set an expectation to the fast paced people your plan to get some sponsor from the finance people.  He will be happy to know that you have initiated some conversation with the finance people and he did not have to do anything on the first stage. 

Now is to offer the fast pace people to start communicating with the slow pace people.  The fast paced people have been informed about the benefits, the solution and the results. And from the slow pace people they are aware about you going through the procedure and forms for sponsoring the upgrade.

At Connecting Point.

In the meeting now, you’ll have fast pace and slow pace people together.  Try not to irritate each other when presenting the solution and what’s needed to achieve the solution.  If you irritate either one of them through you selection of words … that’s it .. you need to recreate the wheel again.

Some of conversation ideas in the meeting with fast and slow pace people when you get them together:

1.  Gentlemen, I’ll calling you to this meeting in order to achieve a mutual understanding and decision to proceed with the solution that I’m about to present to you … (this conversation is meant to make both side feel important and will be part of the decision process)
2.  (After presenting the solution) … I hope you understand the objective of this solution and Lee (the finance people), I understand that with current cost cutting measure, it is going to be some convincing work that we need to do, we can help you to get relevant information to you so that you could easily talk to higher management to get the sponsor.
3.  (After presenting the solution .. talking to your superior) … Sir, with the solution presented and with the support and resource that we have, can I get your approval to proceed with the detail work with finance and the engineering team? (See with the fast pace people, you’re giving indication to him to straight go to work … fast pace people like this type of conversation)

In conclusion to talk and connect to fast and slow pace people these are some key points that you should consider:

1.  Presenting benefits, solution and result in different tone with different type of people.
a.  With fast pace people, be concise and talk enthusiastically. Offer some quick decision opportunity.
b.  With slow pace people, talk and present the idea systematically.
2.  Never irritate each other when talking or discussing with slow or fast pace people … you’ll never achieve anything if you irritate others.

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