How to get to yes in every office meeting
The Six Percent Entrepreneur
How to get to yes in every office meeting
May 25, 2021
In this episode, we talk about how to get your meetings to only be for confirming what you already know.
Here's how to get to yes in every office meeting. So I know I saw on corporate experience a lot and as an entrepreneur, you should probably stay away from the corporate life because you're not going to be able to shine as much as you can on your own, you're just going to be able to get much further in life at least as a six percenter entrepreneur. 

However there are some benefits from working at a corporation and I think I've mentioned it before and other in other episodes is if you are going to go work somewhere just worth it for one year, learn as much as you can and then bounce because you're gonna learn so much, you're gonna be able to take that with you. One of the keys, however, is to have a really good manager because if you don't have a manager that's good, you're likely going to pick up some bad habits and you're not going to really learn that well. Typically the best managers have real management training. This means that the company that they work for has actually invested money into getting this manager trained and they don't just throw someone in a management position and say, here go learn like they actually get some kind of management training. 

So this is one of the things that I've actually learned from one of the managers when I was working at the World Bank. And here's the thing, you don't actually have to go work somewhere to get all these experiences. You can actually download the wisdom just by talking to other people who know some of this stuff. So if you have any kind of issues about how to get to yes, in an office meeting, go find someone and talk to someone that has these office meetings and find out how they do it. So this was an issue that I was personally facing to give you a little context. I was tasked to outline the business process for Knowledge Products creation at the World Bank and that sounds like a whole bunch of just a jumble of words that doesn't really mean anything, but this is kind of what it means. 

So I'm working for the front office at the World Bank and what the front office means is this is the customer-facing part of the World Bank. The World Bank, their mission is to alleviate poverty and they do that through economic loans and Knowledge Resources. So the World Bank is made up out of a bunch of economists and their entire mission is to try to alleviate poverty. So at the World Bank, this front office that I'm working at, the economist, they have a bunch of knowledge products that they released two different regions for the scope and the scope that I'm working for was the Human Development Network and it's like the human development network across all regions. 

So I was tasked to outline the business process for how economists are creating these knowledge products and how they actually get out to the market, which means people who are actually going to consume these knowledge products. And we were trying to streamline the whole process to make sure that there's no bottlenecks and can create a lot of efficiencies.

 So to create these knowledge products, typically it would take one or two years and we were trying to speed up that time and the business process that I was going to outline would be implemented in their IT systems and it was going to be used as a pilot project for the World Bank Four was starting with the Human Development Network and then it would, if it works there, it would be expanded to other departments. 

So part of this business process outline for me was to list out all the different stakeholders and talk about the rules in the process. And I just went through and did user interviews with every single one of these stakeholders and I learned more about the process and here's where I ran into a few issues. As I was outlining the business process, I discovered that this one person that had this decision-making ability or decision-making powers, she really didn't need to have them and she was like a bottleneck in the process. It would have just been better to'' avoid her altogether and not included in the process. 

And when I showed her my thoughts and what we were planning on doing, there was obviously a little bit of push back because this is something that she's been involved with. And she was like, no, like this doesn't make sense because this is how we've always done it, etcetera. So, I was getting a lot of pushback and there was no way that I could win with this woman. So I asked my manager at the time who is an amazing manager, by the way, has something, what do I do? Because we don't have stakeholder buy-in this one person is pushing back. She doesn't like this new thing that we're outlining and she doesn't like that her decision-making powers were being stripped away and we are about to have a meeting and in this meeting, I don't think that we're going to be able to get to a yes because we don't have buying from everyone. 

And he just looked at me kind of like a young pad one and he just like smiled. And he's like, all right. So this is how you do it. And he told me before you go to a meeting, what you want to do is you want to have buy in from every single person before the meeting. So you already discussed with every single person what the outcome of the meeting is. And before you get into the meeting, you should already know what everyone's how everyone's going to vote, how everyone's going to decide. And the way you do this is you talk to each person individually and you find out what they're going to do, how they're going to vote, how they're going to decide. And you make sure that they're on the same page. 

And if they're not, then you can start escalating it and start bringing other people who already have buy-in to try to convince this other person to buy into this decision as well. So that's what we did. We brought some other people because this person obviously didn't have any bind with me because here I am, Oh this was an internship, by the way, I should probably explain that here I am an intern coming in and just redeveloping their entire business process and you know, she wasn't having any of that. So as soon as I alerted my manager to this, we started bringing other people that had buy-in with her to explain why this was good for the organization and they eventually got buy-in with her.
So by the time we got to the meeting, we all knew what was expected. We all knew how it was going to go down and what my manager said is the meeting should only be for confirming what you already know. It shouldn't be for making any decisions. So there you have it. That's how you get to Yes in an office meeting, you get buy-in from every single person before you get to the meeting. And for those people that you don't have a buy-in, you try to recruit some other people to help you get buy-in. I hope that helps. This is Robin Copernicus, boom bam. I'm out. 

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