In this series, I’ve detailed techniques for leveraging group interactions from a relational perspective. This does not stop though once the interaction ends. We can continue afterwards in individual settings. More valuably, if we leverage our regular activity, we won’t need extra time.
For example, suppose the group interaction prompted a follow up meeting with an employee. Before diving into the meeting’s purpose, we say:
Before we start, I want to thank you for getting things rolling in our recent team meeting with your question.
In this way, group interactions become a staging ground, a positioning tool for leveraging relationships. The strategy is ancient. Seminar selling has used it for decades to create, build and leverage relationships, especially in financial services: group presentation followed up with individual interactions.
We can augment our outcomes further if we use the techniques I detailed in my series, Leveraging Relationships in Communications. For instance, we can improve the above with:
Before we start, I just want to thank you for your insightful question on our new business model at our recent team meeting. Your question really helped me get a good discussion going on its merits.
This one goes further. It has a strategic complimenting element that references a talent she has:
Before we start, I just wanted to say I appreciate your talent to think through things. Your question at our recent team meeting really helped me think through other ways this model helps you and me, and other ways you and I can explain it to others.
In addition to questions, we can reference such things as comments, ideas, answers and many more:
- I liked your comment; you allowed me to discuss something I’m passionate about.
- I appreciated your question. You addressed what others were thinking.
- You did a great job answering Ralph’s question.
- Your idea allowed others to see more easily what we’re accomplishing.
As my accompanying figure illustrates, we can apply this follow up to many and more than once. The nuggets for leveraging relationships later are virtually inexhaustible. They just require listening, awareness, noting and discipline from us.