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I'm planning on doing the introductions tool with my DRs because we've added 2 new people in the last month. And yet, they are all quiet techies, and I just know some of them are going to think it's dorky, and others may freeze up, and I'm a quiet techie too with a low "i" and as soon as someone rolls their eyes or grimaces, my enthusiasm will flag and I... well, I might not be as effective as I'd like. :roll:

There will only be six of us in the meeting.

I can reach back to my college speech classes and try to remember some general principles, but does anyone have more specific advice?

p.s. Does this tool help any when 2 of the people involved aren't getting along so well?

jhack's picture

Terri,

I did this with my team this spring. One guy was clearly not with the program, and he did not really open up. But everyone else was fine, and a couple were into it, and in the end it worked out great.

Just make it clear that you're going to do it. Go first, be genuine, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
John

asteriskrntt1's picture

Have the people you think will be the most enthusiastic go first to set the tone. Leave the fuddy duddies to the end.

ccleveland's picture

Terri,

I just used this tool at a project kick-off meeting last week. We had a group of 15 technical staff and managers from different sites across the U.S. and Canada. Many of the people had never met or worked together. My "High D" boss was there, too.

It went great! The great thing about it is the participants make it as cheesy or "straight" as they want. I got lots of positive feedback about this tool as well as the rest of the all-day kick off meeting. The team is already off to a better start than past projects I've run with similar groups.

My advice: 1. If you have the premium content, use the verbiage from the transcript. 2. Be [u]very, [b]very[/b][/u] supportive and energetic. 3. Prepare two sheets in advance: a "creative example" to show them what to draw and your own sheet to start the presentations.

Best wishes. Let us know how it went!

CC

WillDuke's picture

Good advice above, but I can't resist chiming in. I used to teach techie classes at the local community college. I always started off with a round of getting to know you. If someone looked resistant, or was short, I asked questions to draw them out. Make them easy questions. If you have already been doing O3s with them, work in something they're proud of. Let 'em shine a little. Everybody likes that. Spend the extra prep time, you're setting a tone for a long time.

I remember doing a soft skills course with a new instructor once. We had a student in there we both knew who clearly didn't want to be there. We were tag team teaching and at a break I challenged her to get his arms uncrossed. It took her about 10-15 minutes, but the mood of the entire room changed when he did. He was an anchor, and he became a sail.

Read body language, don't ignore it. It might feel awkward, but you'll get better at it. :wink:

Peter.westley's picture

Terri;

My $0.02? Be open about the fact that the process is new for you, but be up-beat about expecting it to be effective. i.e. not "I dunno if this will work or not but I want to give it a try..." more "This is the first time for all of us, I know it works [because M&M say it does :wink:] and we'll get out of it what we put in...".

Good luck!

gernot's picture

Terri,

i have done the intro meeting with 12 quite "high C" techies.
It worked like a charm.
:D

The only thing I had done wrong was that I was not convinced that the tool will work so i talked about "a silly little tool" at the beginning. That was not necessary.

Because I had a good friend in the audience, he was able to give me feedback about that.

With some of the tech guys I had to watch wether they "closed" their speech with the right words an tone like "That´s all from me".

If they did not do that I took over that job and jumped in with an enthusiastic: "That was interesting to know - thank you!" and started the applause.

I was not convinced before the first time. Now I am!
I will repeat this on a meeting with a customer tomorrow.

terrih's picture

Thanks everybody! It helps to hear about similar situations and that it worked out. :D

Mark's picture

Terri-

Sorry this is so delayed, and I hope it went well.

I would tell them it's your first time. I wouldn't do what Will suggested, with trying to draw folks out. If they don't share a lot, that's okay. Others will, and the group's mean will send them a message about where the boat is headed. If you're busy thinking about what to ask while already being nervous, that's a tough place to be. Just LISTEN.

It will show a lot of confidence to allow someone to clearly not join in - folks will perceive you as being sure of yourself, and appreciating some diversity.

You'll be great!

Mark