Clara and Marcus were glad things had gone well with April, but were both pretty terrified as they prepared to meet with Justine, the imperious VP of Engineering who had pushed their meeting out twice. It was three days after the conversation with April when Justine finally said she had twenty minutes for them.
As they were tweaking their deck, Clara and Marcus debated. “We need more data,” Clara said.
“What we need is less for Justine to pick apart,” said Marcus. “Let’s take out the architecture diagram we created for April. That will just make her mad.”
“And let’s add in the competitive stuff that Emily gave us. That’ll motivate her,” said Clara. It was the first time Marcus had heard Clara consider someone’s emotional reaction to a presentation. He turned his head away as he smiled.
Five minutes before the meeting, Marcus noticed that Clara winced and put her hand on her belly. There were beads of sweat on her forehead.
“Are you OK,” he asked. “Can I get you some water or some tea?”
“No, I’m OK,” she said, straightening her back and taking a deep breath. “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
They walked down to Engineering. They both knew that if Justine said no they were sunk.
Clara and Marcus are mastering the art of considering their audiences – an essential skill for every leader/communicator.
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