Meeting a Chief Executive Officer or a high-ranking employee is a good career move. Such meetings lead the teams under the person going to meet the CEO towards success. They also help the employees learn about the company’s goals, values, and policies according to a CEO’s perspective. The meetings can take place virtually or in person. If the matter becomes difficult to solve, they will have to conduct the meetings regularly. Let’s know about the topic in detail- Meeting with CEO.
Reasons To Meet A CEO
Meeting a CEO is not a regular task. The underlying reasons should be clear, genuine, and well-defined.
Here are some of the important reasons:
- Loss Of Trust
The employees got promised by the company, but the company didn’t keep the promise. Thus, the employees can start losing trust in the company.
- Unclear Expectations
The employees are not well aware of what outcomes the company wants from them. They may even starve to receive feedback. It mainly happens when the situations change regularly, and the employees don’t know what the company expects.
- Reasons For The Decisions
The company makes various decisions, but the employees don’t know the underlying reasons. A representative from the company called CEO has to answer some of the questions about their decision if they are badly affecting the employees.
- Unrecognized Work
If the employees feel that their work is not getting recognized, they may find the CEO answerable to their questions.
Approaching The CEO For A Meeting
CEOs are among the busiest employees in a company. Thus, one must have patience and strong reasons to approach them for a meeting.
The following are some ways to approach the CEO for a meeting:
- Direct Emails
It is the very first move to approach a CEO for a meeting. Directly calling the CEO may prove to be too personal at this stage. The emails should be short and to the point. The reasons for a meet, as mentioned in the email, must be worth it. The subject mentioned in the email must be short and professional. CEOs might read their emails on their mobile phones. Thus, emails should be compatible with mobile phones. The employees may mail them in the morning when they will be newly starting the day. However, the CEOs might not respond quickly or might not even respond. So, the sender must have the patience to wait for a certain period after mailing the CEO.
- Approaching Other Seniors
Lower-level employees may not get considered by a CEO easily. Thus, they can approach their seniors up the hierarchy one by one. Generally, the lower-level employees meet the mid-level managers, present their genuine concerns during the meetings, and the manager approaches the CEOs to elaborate on those concerns.
- Approaching The Executive Assistants
The Executive Assistants (EA) are in close contact with the C-level professionals. They maintain the calendars of their managers, collect and prepare information related to the meetings, represent their managers in various internal and external meetings, and sometimes make decisions on their behalf. An employee may ask the EA for ways to reach the CEO, but there is no need to be casual here. An employee must remember that even the EAs are busy and must attend multiple calls for their seniors.
- Being In Touch
The CEOs may disappear from the company for straight three weeks depending on their work. So, the employees must mail them at most three times in 45 days at regular intervals if they don’t show up. However, patience is a must here.
- Raising The Profile
The CEOs are likely to be interested in meeting the employees with a high profile. High profile doesn’t always mean promotions. It means the employee has to do some more tasks along with his/her regular job, be already in a good position, or have a reference. The tasks include writing blogs, books, articles in industry publications, appearing at business broadcasts and events, volunteering, mentoring others in the company, and much more.
Preparing For A Meeting With CEO
After successfully approaching the CEO, the employees should be well-aware of the company’s mission statement, values, vision, goals, and policies. Some questions asked by the employees must also revolve around these points to understand their duties towards the company. A lot of homework is a must for this preparation.
Employees going to meet the CEO must remember the following points:
- Learn Everything About The CEO
The employees must get prepared for this meeting like a job interview. Information about the CEO is generally present on the company’s website. The employees must also search more on Google for the LinkedIn profile, interviews, or events related to the CEO. It will make the employees more comfortable and help in decreasing nervousness. Thus, the employees may act accordingly in the meeting.
- Increase The Expertise
A CEO has tons of work. So, he/she might not be aware of every detail related to the field of the employee. The employee must be an expert in his/her field. He/she has to provide the CEO with the required information during the meeting. So, the employee must know well about handling the machines, software applications, systems, the progress of his/her department, and challenges for the department. Other related issues must be taken into consideration too.
- Reports And Presentations
The employee must be ready with the required analysis, reports, supporting documentation, and presentations. Reports must neither be too detailed nor too general. The presentations must contain required images, graphs, audios, and even videos to provide enough details within a few minutes because we know that CEOs are too busy. All the elements must have proof, truth, shortness, understanding, and must be to the point. The employee has to be confident regarding all the statements and materials to be provided during the meeting.
- Using Social Media
It doesn’t mean directly messaging the CEOs on social media. It means following them or subscribing to their channels on social media. It helps in socializing with them. Directly messaging them may prove to be too pushy.
Some Rules To Be Remembered
More the seniority level, more will be the rules. When it comes to making the CEOs accept something, the rules will be too strict.
Here are the rules to be remembered before commencing a meeting with the CEOs:
- The CEOs Can Be Impatient
The CEOs have a lot of responsibilities with a busy schedule. They won’t clap for the employees after a presentation. They will go through the reports, presentations, verbal communication, and ask for some days to work on the issues. Then, they will straight away move to their next job. It doesn’t mean that they hate the employees. Instead, they will reward the employees indirectly by accepting their proposals.
- Confidence With The Statements
They require the employees to be confident with what they say and present. For that, the employees must do the thorough and correct research. They have to be confident and expert enough while answering the questions raised by the CEOs.
- Different Perspectives
The employees and the managers are mostly indulged in managing the daily activities such as supervision, maintaining the records, communicating with the customers and team members, and much more. But the CEOs are indulged in high-level activities such as international meetings, structuring the business plans and goals, and much more. So, the employees have to practice presenting their ideas according to the views of a CEO. The concerns should be somehow aligned with the margin contribution, total revenue, business growth, and other related topics.
- To The Point Conversations
The employees and all the data should be to the point. Even after the presentation gets completed, the CEOs will directly talk about the underlying objective. If they have any related questions, they may ask. However, the employees must be ready to answer them correctly. Providing wrong answers will waste their time and may decrease the chances of getting the idea approved.
- Usage Of Numbers
The employees are advised to present exact numbers after careful research. It generally makes the audience trust the research. However, the CEOs will immediately point out the wrong numbers (if present). The reports will contain the exact numbers related to the company and the CEOs must be well-aware of those numbers. Guesses don’t work for a critical decision.
- Planning The Vacations Accordingly
The employees have to first get an appointment for a meeting. The employees may surely go on a vacation but if a conference is to be conducted, the employees cannot directly get in it and talk to the CEO. The high-level employees are invited to the conference well in advance. So, the employees must plan their vacations accordingly if they wish to attend a conference.
During The Meeting
It will be a very professional meeting with no time to be wasted. The room will have different energy full of seriousness, efficiency, and expectations.
The following are some points to be remembered by the employees during a meeting with the CEO:
- Summary Of The Meeting
A one-page summary of the points to be mentioned must be provided to the EAs some days or one day before the meeting. They are responsible to pass it to the CEOs. Supporting detailed and important information must be presented during the meeting. However, all of these should be to the point. Also, laptops, pen drives, CDs, projectors, files, and other materials should be kept ready in advance.
- Time To Meet
If the employees are asked to choose the part of the day for the meeting, they are advised to choose an early meeting as it has fewer chances of getting rescheduled.
The employees have to surely arrive early and get ready with everything but they must also be ready to wait for the CEOs. The meeting may even get rescheduled again and again. They may ask the EA about the same but must also make sure that the EA doesn’t get disturbed.
Once the CEOs arrive, they must be given a few minutes to settle down. After asking whether they are ready to commence with the meeting, the employee representative must first introduce himself/herself. Then, he/she must name and start elaborating the points mentioned in the one-page summary. The projector must be used to represent graphs, images, videos, and other important materials. Related reports must be provided.
The CEOs may interrupt in between and try to check how confident the representative is with the statements and reports. So, the representative must answer all the questions correctly and confidently, ask for some more related questions, and move on to the next topic. It is natural for the representative to be unable to answer one or two questions. In this case, the representative must not directly get back or be stubborn. Instead, he/she can say, “Good question. I will surely search on it and come back.”
- No Problem In Ending Early
Ending up earlier is better than ending up later than the expected time. It will provide them some more time to think. Questions can be asked by both parties after ending up the presentation.
- A Follow-Up
The CEOs must be thanked for providing some time from their busy schedule. Similarly, a short email regarding gratitude must be sent.
Many employees never get to meet their CEOs personally. But the chances for the same may increase if the employees follow the above-mentioned points. This meeting can turn out to be a milestone in solving the issues faced by the employees. If everything goes right, the work will be done by a higher level whereas, if something goes wrong, the CEOs may not trust the employees easily again.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Shouldn’t Be Done In Front Of A CEO?
Blaming each other, yelling, cursing the job, lack of confidence, being late, being stubborn, nervous, laziness, calling something stupid, and not being ready to accept the faults are some of the things to be avoided in front of a CEO.
- What Are The Types Of Meetings In An Organization?
- Status update or accountability meetings.
- Mentoring meetings.
- Educational meetings.
- Status-update meetings.
- Planning meetings.
- The performance or one-on-one meeting.
- Team building meetings.
- Innovation meetings.
- Problem-solving meetings.
- Decision-making meetings.
- Can An Employee Representative Ask Questions To The CEO?
Yes. Though it is not a question-and-answer section, both parties are answerable to each other. However, the questions should be related to the aim of the meeting and genuine. A Single question must be asked at a time and the other party must be given a fair chance to speak.