• Anna Conrad

3 Things to Do When Briefing the Big Boss



There is more to briefing a senior leader than the well-known advice to keep it short and give the bottom line up front. Here are interpersonal elements that are just as important:

  • Before the meeting, consult with the senior leader’s most trusted advisor. Get their opinion on what you are presenting and predictions on questions you may be asked. Most importantly, make sure they are comfortable with your recommendation so they can vouch for you and support you.

  • Familiarize yourself with the leader's communication style. For example, make sure you understand their nonverbal cues if they want you to slow down or speed up.

  • Find out how the person engages with material. For example, do they like to push back? Do they prefer to sit back and listen, or do they ask a lot of questions? Understanding these before the meeting will help you communicate the right message under pressure.

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