Important Airbus meeting, and I have to meet an expert.
Two issues on my mind:
- How to get the information to make the proper decision
- How not to loose credibility
There are some simple recipes that can get you prepared right on time.
Write down what you know
Make mind maps and throw down some keywords that come up to your mind. That will give you something to start with.
Find the reference document
Use your corporate intranet or internet to find out more about the subject from what you already have. Keep focus on getting the overall knowledge and a feel for the subject, rather than drilling down into the details.
Talk to the right people
Find people you know, with whom you can talk freely. Make sure they welcome the stupidest questions so that you can talk freely and get the most of it.
Find out the latest news.
Google news and people. They give you the freshest topics. Good to know and those will give the impression that you follow the subject.
Get conversation starters
Make sure you have some questions that will keep the conversation going and will help you get the right information.
“You mean, it’s like building a house and the walls are made of plastic?” when you talk about composite structures will help you get a better understanding and find interesting questions.
Re-formulate or make assumtions using the answers you have. It is unlikely anyone will contradict oneself.
Wrap it up and run away
Make sure your messages have passed and that you’re going to report the right ones to your boss. And run-away before you look like a fool.