This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.
Keeping your self-orientation low can be challenging. It’s as much an inside job as anything—knowing yourself and managing yourself well so that your focus is where it belongs, which is on the person or people you are serving. This takes commitment, effort, and practice.
There are also some very pragmatic ways that help you immediately demonstrate that your first priority is them and not you. One of those is the shared agenda—as in, the “for real” kind.
Here’s what a shared agenda (for real) looks like:
In other words, you’re ready to discuss the topics you’ve prepped for, and perhaps even agreed to in advance (A, B, C). More importantly, you’re willing to subvert all that for whatever is most important to them in the moment—this is what fills in the blanks. Perhaps something has arisen unexpectedly. Or maybe nothing has changed, in which case the gesture alone speaks volumes.
Be clear that this is not the same as a totally blank slate and, “So what do you want to talk about?” as a meeting opening, which would likely make you look unprepared and cavalier.
Here’s the subtext of this shared agenda (for real):
See what I mean about “packs a punch?”
This week, practice using the shared agenda (for real) technique. What results do you get? What do you learn?
Watch Charlie Green’s Trust Tip #3 on how to “Get off your ‘S’,” or brush up on how to get to know yourself better in Chapter 10 of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook.