By Joel Stein
So, after 3 episodes we are moving quicker than ever in The Game of Thrones. This week we are looking at a specific topic and the specific lessons we can learn from Jon and Dany’s first meeting at Dragonstone. Let’s look at what can be learnt to help run effective client meetings.
Make sure you have a strong opening and introduction:
I think everyone who has watched Game of Thrones was waiting for the moment Dany and Jon would meet and it didn’t disappoint. Dany gave us a great example of how a strong opening to a meeting can set the tone for what is to come, Jon not so much. Although scripted, Missandei’s introduction of Dany was powerful and delivered the message it was trying to send. Dany has accomplished a lot and she made it difficult for Jon to not be impressed by her. On the other hand Davos didn’t deliver quite the same opening. Although delivering one of the funniest lines we have had in the series Davos left a lot to be desired when he simply said; “This is Jon Snow.” No one in the room really knew a lot about Jon, aside from Tyrion, and they were left wondering why they should entertain this person in Dany’s presence. We saw the change in the room, and the way that Dany treated Jon once Davos finally delivered a worthy opening. This is a simple lesson to take away from this scene; although Dany’s opening was over the top it set the tone for the meeting. Make sure you come prepared to a meeting, with a strong open, as often first impressions can last a long time. Who you are, where you are from, what you do and why you are there to meet them – simple really.
Come prepared with case studies and examples:
Although I find it funny that Dany and her court find it hard to believe there are White Walkers coming when they are running around with 3 fully grown dragons, Jon didn’t do much to convince them. Let’s imagine that you had to believe what Jon was saying, sure it’s Jon Snow, but it is hard to accept that an army of the dead is actually marching upon Westeros. Jon relied on his honest approach and expected his words to be enough to convince Dany. For me this was a perfect example of not showing up to a meeting fully prepared. If he had proof that they existed, then he would have had a much better chance of delivering his message. Bringing case studies, presentations and examples to meetings is a sure-fire way to illustrate your points and get buy in from those you are trying to convince. I have a feeling that Jon will have to show proof to Dany later in the series and he could have saved himself a lot of time right here.
The importance of a good story:
The last point leads me nicely in to this, the importance of telling a good story. We can all think of someone we have in our personal lives or professional lives that is a natural story teller. Someone who can hold a room, giving just enough detail whilst also delivering a story at a good pace and can make you feel like you were there. Jon Snow is not that man. Jon has never been known for his words, usually speaking in short sentences in a dour tone (he needs to cheer up a bit let’s be honest). When you are in the most important meeting of your life you better step it up. Now I am not going to be that harsh on Jon here, considering his usual story telling ability I thought he did a pretty good job. He convinced Tyrion, that’s a start, he gave Dany enough that she may consider that this brooding man from the North is telling the truth. Usually in TV we see scenes that frustrate us, all the character needs to do is tell a slightly better story and the plot will move along, this time I think Jon did OK. Telling a good story is the best way to get your point across in meetings and go as far to help influence decision making. Some people may think that they are not natural storytellers and they will never learn but story telling is something that can be learned, take time to upskill yourself. At Precision, we conduct role playing tasks in our morning catch ups, don’t be scared to put yourself out of your comfort zone and look to colleagues to help you become a better influencer. Someone we look to for knowledge is Simon Sinek, some of you will know him for his views on millennials, he has videos like this one that could help.
Finally, where are we up to with Joel’s predictions for season 7?
1) There has to be an Ice dragon at some point! – no movement here
2) Jorah will kill Dany – he’s now one step closer, he’ll be popping up soon
3) Bran has allowed the white walkers to follow him through the wall – isn’t he weird now!
4) Jon and Dany become the power couple of Westeros – according to the internet this is a guarantee
5) Jamie kills Cersei – looks like Jamie is losing faith in her, he hardly even defended her when talking to Olenna – R.I.P.