virtuous circleYou know those meetings where everything seems to go according to plan? No? Well I have to admit that they don’t always come around quite as frequently as I might hope! But today, I had one of them. My lovely wife and I were meeting with a prospective candidate for the leadership development programme for young women that we’ll be delivering later this year.

In response to yesterday’s blog about the importance of allowing your personality to shine through in an interview, a wise woman (hello, Suzy!) commented that she had found that the interviews where she was “prepared to wing it a little actually go a whole lot better”. I think that the same is true in many situations in life, including in meetings.

Don’t get me wrong, we were prepared for the meeting in that we knew the information we needed to convey and why we felt that she would be such an excellent candidate, but we hadn’t planned it out in such a level of detail that we were unable to read the response we were getting and adapt our approach to match. So, for example, giving more or less detail about a specific element of the programme depending on her reactions to certain things.

We felt that she’d be ideal for the programme and hoped that she’d be as excited about the opportunities it will present her with as we are. But you never know how somebody else will view something; whether it will be what they are expecting, whether it fits in with their priorities, etc. On this occasion, what do you know, she exceeded our expectations! She was positive, excited, and raring to go!

In response to her positivity about the programme, we gave her lots of information about all the aspects we could, which reinforced her keenness to be involved. A real virtuous circle in action!

In turn, this re-fuelled my own enthusiasm for the programme and its possibilities, and excited me with the thought of what she will be able to achieve by entering into it with such excitement and commitment. She was even excited about the prospect of, after completing the programme, continuing to be involved in it by working with and/or mentoring future cohorts of participants. Now that’s the sort of candidate I like to attract!

We’re getting ever closer to the start of delivery of the programme and I look forward to being able to share with you more details of what it will entail and, I hope, some success stories from the participants’ point of view.