Interview participants to understand as much as possible about them, the people they work with, and their business.
To understand the political risks in meetings, speak with your participants. Preferably, sit with them one-on-one for about 30 minutes. Speak with each face-to-face, or at least by way of a teleconference.
Political Risks in Meetings — Interview Sequence
First meet the executive sponsor, the business partners, the project team, and then the participants. Keep your interviews around twenty to thirty minutes each. Conduct the interviews privately and assure participants that their responses will be kept CONFIDENTIAL.
Political Risks in Meetings — Interview Objectives
Interview the participants to understand:
- To become familiar with their job, their business, and their expectations
- To confirm who should, or should not, attend and why
- How to help them show up better prepared to contribute
- To identify potential issues, hidden agendas, and other obstacles
- To identify scheduling conflicts and other concerns
- How to transfer ownership of the purpose, scope, and deliverables
Political Risks in Meetings — INTERVIEWING QUESTIONS
The following are well-sequenced questions that you should ask. Begin each interview explaining your role and the purpose of the interview. Ask for permission to take notes. Use open-ended questions, sit back, and listen to the person—discover their value and value add to the initiative you are supporting.
Facilitator Style Questions
Optimally you should choose the best participants. The business and technical partners with the executive sponsor approve the list. The method works like this:
- Ask the partners who should participate—make a list.
- Have your executive sponsor detail who should participate—adjust the list.
- Ask each participant who should participate—adjust the list.
When you have finished interviewing the participants, explain to the partners who you believe should participate and why. The partners will accept or modify the list. Once you both agree, have the partners get the executive sponsor to approve.
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