The Engineer in a Business Meeting

I posted this on Facebook last week after seeing it flicker across my feed from a friend. It gave me a good chuckle - I can completely relate to such experiences in my own career. 

 

 

Lessons I'd take from the video and a constant reminder:

As an engineer

  • Be open to ideas, especially from the expert! Be also open to ideas from another expert - you can never know too much!
  • If you're one who interacts with other departments, always ensure to have the ability to KISS (i.e. Keep It Simple, Stupid). This video is a perfect example of this in action - taking a difficult task of explaining how it can be to be the engineer in the room, and using the concept of 'drawing red lines' to explain it! It's all well and good being the person who knows the most on a certain topic but if you can't explain it to others, you've already lost. (This is one skill I've learned I'm particularly strong at - my time at Vodafone involved numerous meetings of this type and of which I found I was in my element. I also found while teaching this was to be an essential skill as you're knowledge base is so much higher than the children and your role is to guide their direction to expand their own skillsets).
  • Be patient!
  • Try to look at some of the conversations from their eyes. If they were trying to work with you on the techniques and strategies of marketing, I suspect you'd be asking some questions that you wouldn't find so smart if you had their level of knowledge.
  • Think you're the smartest person in the room? You've still got a lot of things to learn - don't let arrogance show.

From everyone else in the room

  • Be open to ideas, especially from the expert! Be also open to ideas from another expert - you can never know too much! (yes, this is replicated across both people).
  • Don't be afraid to say you don't understand - it gives an opportunity to the 'expert' to try and explain the issues in lay-terms.

Still though, a highly entertaining video - I got a great laugh out of it :) Did you?

 

 

Credit: Based on the short story "The Meeting" (in Russian)

Neal McQuaid