The hidden agenda

People attending small business meetings are the ones most
likely to have a hidden agenda. When making a presentation to
a small group, or taking part in a business meeting consider:

Who will be there?
What particular complaint, concern or axe to grind does each person have?
• What does each member of the group want to achieve personally?

    Recognition?
    Advancement?
    More responsibility?
    More of the budget?

• Have I given cause for any member of this meeting to feel threatened?

What do you do about a hidden agenda?
As much as possible touch on a hidden agenda in your presentation, eg,

‘We all realise this is a particular concern of yours, Harry.’ ‘We really appreciate the help you gave us
on this project, John.’

Allay concern, and answer ego needs as much as you can.

• Be prepared for the person who will bring out a pet grievance or concern no matter what the subject. Don’t let anyone take over the discussion. Get your question period back on track.
• Be prepared for the person who will attempt to make you look bad so that he or she will look good. If you can make that person look good first, he or she won’t have to make you look bad. But if you can’t, don’t become defensive or sarcastic. Keep cool and reinforce your points.
• Be prepared to be surprised by a hidden agenda you hadn’t anticipated. Remain calm. If you are making a presentation, you are responsible for the course of the meeting.

Whenever you attend a meeting, consider:

    • Who will be there.
    • What could be their hidden agendas?
    • What could you be asked about that doesn’t appear on the agenda?
    • Be prepared to present your own ‘hidden’ agenda.

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