An Information Gathering Template to Bring Focus to Your Engagement
Evaluating who and why you want to build a better relationship with someone and planning for those connection points is an on-going opportunity that may require a crystal ball. Who do I connect with? Where do I start? Why do I want to build a better relationship with this person? What can I give back to this person?
The objective of this guide is to help you capture key details about this person and add some focus to the engagement process. We have highlighted areas of discovery and included some questions to lead you to learn information that may help you to deepen your relationship with this individual and assess opportunities to create value together. The more you learn about another individual, the greater opportunity you will have to do things with or for this individual, which makes you better known, valued, and trusted.
Researching this person on social media, the internet, or with mutual friends before any contact will help you to feel better prepared and confident. It is unlikely that you will learn everything about this person from one encounter. You can use The PRISM Networking Guide multiple times. As you learn more about each of your contacts, keep adding to your PRISM notes and using your PRISM categories.
This section is designed to help you capture as much personal information about this person. People are at the core of what PRISM is about, so genuinely learn about someone’s spouse or significant other, children, parents, siblings, friends.
Learn what matters to this person. People tend to form friendships with those who share common interests. The core of what we teach is to be interested and to be genuine.
- Please tell me about your family? When you learn of a family member or friend dig deeper as appropriate. And share your own family stories.
- Is there someone in your circle of friends looking for help? (Help if you can.)
- Do you have any hobbies or play any sports? You can ask more leading questions like: What did you do this weekend? Were you in the Greek system when you were in college, and would you recommend joining today? Do you coach any sports?
Think about asking some questions to find reasons that you can build on this relationship. Do you belong to any similar networks, such as the same school, the same civic organizations, live near same neighborhoods, work for the same company? The more you have in common with an individual, the more reasons you have to help create a common foundation for this relationship. Also discover who matters to this person and why, and then see if you have any valuable mutual relationships.
- Where did you go to school? Did you belong to any groups or clubs there?
- Do you belong to any community groups in town?
- Do you live near here? Near work?
- Who are your closest friends at work? or Do you get along with your co-workers? Do you ever get together outside of work?
- I saw on social media that you used to work at ABC, so by chance did you know XYZ?
One of the easiest ways to deepen relationship is to give something away, that’s why introductions to others can be quite valuable and effective.
Because you are a PRISM user you will likely have a better organized network than many of your contacts. So, feel free to offer up your network as something of value. Ask this person who whey would like to meet within your circles. If they are a genuine person, they should reciprocate the offer. Each person you meet represents about 1000 people you do not yet know.
When discussing introductions, its the perfect time to share how you use PRISM to manage contacts and relationships with your friend.
- Can you tell me how you use social media? Which platform is your favorite? Do you connect with different people on different platforms, Facebook vs. LinkedIn?
- Who do you work with most often at work?
- What are some industries that your closest friends are in? Or people outside your company?
Does this person have any Skills that they are particularly proud of? Could you benefit from their skills? And vice versa from you?
If this individual has some skills that others in your network also have or others in your PRISM are looking for assistance, you may have a unique opportunity to create value by introducing these individuals to each other.
- What was your major in school? What would you recommend a college student study today?
- What would you say are your most valuable skills?
- What do you think are key skills that young professionals need today? What about someone transitioning to your industry/a role similar to yours?
Lean more about any achievements, awards or goals this person has. People are proud of their achievements and accomplishments. It is very important to ask about their goals this may uncover ways for you to assist them.
- If they are married…How long have you been married? When is your anniversary?
- Did you receive any awards in school?
- Do you have any special certifications that go with your job?
- Do you have any fitness goals? or Are you training for anything (runner: marathon/half marathon/10k/5k)?
- Are you learning anything new, outside of work (photography classes, yoga instructor, etc)?
- What are the most important things you want to achieve in your job, life over the next year or so?
- Are there others in your network who are working toward any goals and do you think I may be of help to them?
Remember, The PRISM Networking Guide is just a guide. Use it to help brainstorm your own questions before meeting with someone.
We’d love to hear some of the questions you come up with. Please share them in the comments!