At the end of my working day yesterday, I received a call from someone in another department of the company, an Australian or NZ woman with whom I’d not spoken, and whose name I didn’t know. She had just introduced herself when a phone rang at her end and she said ‘Sorry, I’ve got an important call just come in, I’ll call you back.’ After five minutes or so she did so, and started straight into talking. I realised this was probably a followup to a query I’d sent out by email over six weeks ago, which various people had passed to various other people. Here she was diving into it as if we’d been talking about it only yesterday. Except that now she’s asking me to explain the background, current practice etc. I was about to do so when she suddenly said ‘I think we’ll need a bit more time – can I call you tomorrow?’  and off she went.

I reflected on first impressions – here I have an impression of someone who’s disorganised, rather self-centred and in too much of a hurry to get anything done. (She also had that irritating habit of ending every sentence on a question mark?) Now I may well be wrong about her and learn differently today, but how you put yourself over is so important, especially at work, that you ‘d think she would know better.

3 thoughts on “15/5/07”

  1. well, i’d look on it more in this light: is this an opporunity for me or not. what this lady does seem to have is persistence and enthusiasm. she’s interested and at the same time she’s working up to it in that extrovert fashion of shooting from the hip. she sounds young–that question mark at the end of every sentence is a young woman’s habit.
    if I were having this experience and I wanted to carve out my own nice in this conversation, I’d send her an email that summarizes what I want to say to her and what I want to ask her. that gives both people a structure for the next brief conversation.
    this technique is called managing up. I use it on busy bosses and corporate types in my work. trust me. these people inhabit a different world.

  2. yup, I can understand being distracted by her manner.
    Here follows, in my not-so humble opinion, my unsolicited two cents:
    Were I in your shoes, I would send her a concise email to ask for clarification on what she wants and what she has to offer. We call this ‘managing up’ in the corporate world.
    It gives each of you context and structure for your next phone call.
    What I’m getting at here is that it’s not her manner that’s important for you, it’s whether or not there is a business opportunity.

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