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Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:40

When meeting someone for coffee professionally, what do you talk about or try to accomplish?

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... particularly if you are in academia and not in business?

There is likely a lot less difference between going for coffee whether you are in academia or business, then you think there is. Your approach should be professional in either instance.

Going for coffee is an opportunity to get to know the other person. The objective is to find if you share common interests and if there is any opportunity to collaborate on a project or serve as a resource for each other. If you were in business, it may lead to a joint venture.

Come prepared to talk about subjects that interest you, both in your career and your private life.

I’ve been on a lot of ‘coffee chats.’ A lot of business is conducted in local coffee shops in my community.

From my personal experience, plan for 60 minutes for your coffee meeting. I find in that time both of you should have a better understanding of each other. If you resonate with each other, plan for a follow-up coffee meeting.

At the 75 to 90 minute marks, I find the conversation tending to drag and get uncomfortable.

If you want to be considered an exceptional conversationalist, ask meaningful questions of the other person and listen twice as much as you talk. When you give your conversational partner your undivided attention to listening to their favorite topic i.e. themselves, they will think you are a good listener and are likely to be very open to you.


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