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A question your can use to make someone think

 In Delivery

In this second week, for CIOs who want to BTO (Be The One) to work with – the focus is on ‘owning’ chance encounters.

Let me explain. I worked with a CIO a while back who was very talented but was ill-at-ease in chance encounters with senior stakeholders, his peers and with his direct reports. He didn’t know what he should say. The first thing I worked on with him, was to maximize the number of positive impressions he was conveying.

We did this through having him always make a great initial connection by facing, smiling and holding eye contact with everyone he met. (Please see last week’s BTO post).

Our work then focused on helping him plan for interacting in chance encounters. He developed thought-provoking questions that he could ask senior stakeholders, his peers and his direct reports. He put those questions in an easily retrievable application of his smart phone.

He then committed to Intentional Daily Practice (IDP) of asking those questions in chance encounters his various colleagues.  A sample way to open these chance encounter is to first get the person’s attention, and then ask for a brief amount of time. For example, say, “Ryan – got a couple of minutes?”

Here’s an example  of one of his questions for senior stakeholders: “Give me your take on this scenario, how would you retrench someone with dignity – someone who has to be let go through no fault of their own?”

The key message for this post is: ‘Own’ chance encounters through asking thought provoking questions.

What to do in the next seven days:

a. Plan three general, thought-provoking questions for the following groups of people: Senior stakeholders/customers; Peers, Your direct reports. (Some of the questions might be the same for each group of people).

b. At least once, every day, in a chance encounter, ask a person one of your questions.

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