Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

The Mystery Of The First Date/Meeting

Posted on: July 21, 2012

There are few things more important in business than establishing a rapport with your client or customer. Discussion and contact very often begin through email, but the first face-to-face meeting is the important one. The big one.

What I find most interesting about the first meeting is the development of language, or the lack there of, between those who are in attendance. Generally it will start formal, objective and dare I claim, grown up, but almost like nature intended people change. Talk changes. Seating positions change. Volume goes up. Comedy is injected.

As meeting delegates relax and feel more comfortable with those they are meeting, they will throw in an occasional anecdote that offers insight to the personality, likes and interests of themselves, their colleagues and company culture. Similar to the dynamics of a first date. You know how far to push things. A chance to find the range you will playing in during future endeavours.

It’s also very interesting to see who marks the boundaries and who chooses to ignore them. The MD is usually the main culprit for both. The (wo)man in power who often doesn’t need to worry about power relations or more often the case I think, chooses not to worry. In one meeting I had, the MD declared in the direction of the competitor “I wanna crush them cunts’. Needless to say we get on very well.

Some of course won’t adapt, change or transition. The first meeting can have the same damp squib feel to it as the 51st meeting. Cold, distant and frankly officious, but this is fine. Business is business after all.

Meetings are obviously crucial for discussing key business details, but I just love the relationship and power dynamics in play during the process. I firmly believe the more people can be themselves at work instead of hiding behind some B2B alias the happier you will be at work and the happier you’ll make your clients/customers.

Meanwhile if you could give any advice around making meeting notes they’d be great fully received 🙂

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