January 2017

When Teresa Meets Trump - How to Meet The Person Behind Their Reputation

Perhaps on a less international stage and certainly not in the media spotlight, many of us will, at some point in our professional lives, find ourselves meeting a person whose reputation goes before them.

We all have a reputation, we don’t own it, we can only influence it through many things including our behaviour and our ability to create and maintain good relationships.

When a personal reputation is so pronounced, how do you go about ensuring that this first meeting is a success, that the start of this relationship begins well and that personal rapport is built with ease?

Quite simply, as Teresa May will know all too well, the answer lies in our ability to influence how others think of us.  Five ways to do that include:

  1. Suspend all assumptions.  No matter what you have heard, your perceptions of beliefs the need is to go into that meeting without listening to our own ‘internal conversation’ about who they are, what the interaction is about or what we think will happen.
  2. Choose your intent.  Know what your intention is and stick to it. How do you want that person to be left feeling? What do you want them to know?
  3. Be present. It will be easy to revert to your head, the logic, the situation. Acknowledge that your mind will distract you and remain open to  the person in front of you, being 100% in the meeting that you are in.
  4. Listen with your heart and your head. The Chinese verb to listen acknowledges the role of the heart in listening. Listen to the other person and not just to the words or language used which can often be misleading, divisive or a red herring. Trust in what you hear and act upon it.
  5. Retain unconditional positive regard.  Give yourself the best chance of building rapport by holding the person only in positive regard.

As part of our reputation Change For Good programme, our coaches work with senior leadership teams to enhance their personal reputations and to build positive and strong relationships.