The first interaction generally addresses the current issue (fire) at hand. What’s been happening in the last week, days or hours. It’s an instant snap in time of current-state.
Stakeholders at this time are more interested in, “what have you done for me, today?”
Best response comes from sage advise of Metrics Reporting, Inc: Listen until your ears bleed. Be honest with yourself. At this stage, there simply is not sufficient knowledge and direction for you to offer anything actionable that will drive results. So Listen.
The second interaction is more composed. Immediate needs have already been communicated, so this is the time for understanding the current plan, strategy, and blockers that are in play for the next time period (generally, the next quarter).
Stakeholders at this time are more interested in, “how will you help me reach these goals?”
Best response is to repeat what you’ve heard to get validation that you genuinely understand (active-listening). Avoid immediate response to the question on goals until you’ve executed sufficient “think-time” on the matter. Instead, give a date when you can supply what and how you can help achieve their goals.
The third interaction is a composite of aligning your goals response to the master vision and strategy. This is about long-term strategy achieved through deliverables focused on intermediate goals along the roadmap.
Stakeholders at this time are interested in, “how do we effectively drive transformation to achieve our vision?”
Best response comes from synthesizing vision into actionable outcomes along a roadmap that progresses the organization to a higher state of maturity (active delivery).
The ultimate goal in these interactions is to move from “what can you do for me” to “what can we accomplish together“.