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  • Writer's pictureLiza Engel

Maximizing Impact in 2024 - Mastering the Art of Insightful Inquiry

As we stand at the entrance to 2024, I ask myself what transforms a year, or any venture, into a profoundly impactful journey. In my experience, the magnitude of the transformation potential hinges on our approach, particularly when orchestrating dialogues in meetings, presentations, workshops or even one-on-one. 

I want to share with you three pivotal questions that consistently serve as my compass in these moments, integrating seamlessly with the Stake-Impact-Outcome methodology. (See my blog on SIO- The Secret Sauce to Help you Transform your Messaging):

  1. Defining the Purpose: What is the endgame of this session, this year, or any given project? Clarity here is non-negotiable. Whether we aim to disseminate knowledge, spark creative thinking, or enhance skills, understanding our core purpose is crucial. It's the foundation upon which we construct meaningful and targeted content. It is so simple, yet so easily forgotten.

  2. Knowing Your Audience: Whom are we addressing? This isn't just about demographics; it's about diving deep into their psyche. Understanding their background, aspirations, and expectations enables us to balance our message and their needs, ensuring our delivery is heard, felt, and remembered.

  3. Measuring Success: What does success look like? Are you considering your success or also the success of others? Does feedback quantify it, achieving specific goals or something more profound? Establishing these success metrics steers our preparation and allows for a tangible impact assessment.

I believe that change starts within ourselves. So, reflecting on the above, here is how to apply this to yourself:

  1. Your Purpose: Has there been a shift in your objectives from last year? What drives you now?

  2. Self-awareness: How well do you know yourself and the value you bring to those around you?

  3. Personal Success: What does success look like to you? When will you feel genuinely proud of your impact?

These questions allow you to know yourself and others so that you can design and deliver. But it doesn't end there. 

I use every opportunity to ask variations of the question,

"When would this be a good session (year, meeting, presentation) for you?"

This question is woven into my interactions, from initial briefings to moments before I begin. Let me share a story to illustrate:

Invited to an executive meeting, briefed by a Chief of Staff, I was set for a typical presentation. However, a brief delay before starting presented an unexpected opportunity. I utilize these moments to ask, "What do you hope to get out of today's session?" Surprisingly, one response diverged entirely from my briefing. This left me with a choice: adhere to my prepared content or adapt in real time. Opting for flexibility, I ensured the session catered to the unanticipated need, enriching the experience for everyone involved. Alternatively, I could have said this was not planned for today's session, but I would be more than happy to connect after the meeting to discuss this topic in further detail. 

This underscores the tremendous value of asking, "When will this be a good session for you?" The essence of exceptional experience design lies in understanding and setting expectations, ensuring they are met and exceeded. You can only do this if you know the expectations and do not make false assumptions. 

Image by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

So, as we venture into 2024, I encourage you to ask,

"What do you hope to get out of (___fill in the blank___)?"

For me, 2024 is about fostering shared growth and collective learning. So, I will repeatedly ask myself, "What do you hope to get out of the week ahead?" I hope to share a year of deep meaning, fulfilment, and transformative experiences. What about you? 

Here's to a year where every question leads us closer to our true intentions and shared successes!

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