We all make the same mistakes, it seems, when we are communicating with the CEO and other top level executives. We want to explain our case. We want to jump into the details to describe all the specifics surrounding it. Somehow, I think, that we fear that without the details, he/she will think that we don’t know our job. It is quite the contrary. They know that you can do your job, or else you wouldn’t be in it. They don’t need a lot of explanation. They need a few specific pieces of data. I have prepared a checklist that you can review prior to your meeting.
If you can answer these questions, then you are prepared for the meeting.
CEO/Sr. Leader Meeting Check List
Are You Ready to Answer These Questions? Yes/No
What solution do you propose?
What is the resource and effort to solve this?
Do you have it handled/under control?
Do you need executive assistance?
What specifically do you want Him/Her to do? (Circle all that apply.)
- Resource assistance?
- Contact someone externally?
- Contact internal staff?
Note: It’s the right thing to share bad news …
- If it’s on fire.
- If someone is free-falling – step in before they hit the ground.
Executives do not need the details. They need to know if you believe that there is a solution to the problem. They need to understand if there are resource requirements. They need to know if it is under control, or if it is out of your control. They need to know if you need their assistance.
If you go through this checklist, and share the information in this order, your meeting should be a success.
by Bethany Williams