Pythagoras said, “The beginning is half of the whole.” In communication terms, we can confidently take this to mean that if there was ever an important time for you to do well in a meeting or conversation, it is the beginning.
How persuasive or effective you are depends a lot on perceptions and impressions that you create early. The Set-Up is a useful little tool that will help you focus your thoughts in a meeting, presentation or negotiation. It also makes you look prepared! There are four steps:
WHAT – what is the subject or purpose of the meeting?
WHY – why is this important or relevant now? (urgency or context )
HOW – how is the meeting going to run? Share the agenda, roles, logistics,timing,etc.
OUTCOME – what do we all have to be or do by the end of the meeting? What does success look like?
If you start like this you are more likely to establish a subtle control over the flow of things as well as give others the opportunity to speak up early if their expectations are different. I’m all for making it easier for you to do well. Do it early!