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So, my boss told me that I should meet with this guy, who will help us with any hardware/software challenges that we have. I asked a bit what he means, and I got an idea of what he wants me to discuss with this guy. I also asked my boss who this guy is and he only told me what country he's from, nothing more, and I couldn't get anything else out of him. Some might ask why is my boss trying to hide this from me, but from my point of view, it's just how he does business, not about me.

I don't know whether I can talk freely with this guy, or hide sensitive information from him.

I also don't know what's his background and how much of what I'm saying he'd understand.

I also don't know whether I should ask him about his background (at least what's his relationship with the field, or with our company, or with my boss), as he might expect me to know already and me not knowing would put my boss in a bad position.

Any ideas or insight is appreciated.

  • Can't you ask this questions to your manager ? – sh5164 May 18 '17 at 11:22
  • I can't, because I will not get much more than I already got. I could try, if I just want to annoy him. – Andrei May 18 '17 at 11:23
  • really a downvote for the question? In which way this is not a valid question? – Andrei Nov 28 '17 at 22:54
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You seem to have pretty normal questions concerning the meeting - why not ask them to your boss?

Try to arrange a short (quarter to half an hour) meeting with your boss where you clarify your doubts. Or send them by email if the availability of your boss is scarce.

I don't know whether I can talk freely with this guy, or hide sensitive information from him.

Ask your boss if there is/will be an NDA signed before the meeting. If so, you can share sensitive information.

I also don't know what's his background and how much of what I'm saying he'd understand.

Perhaps this is the reason for the meeting - to see whether this consultant is suitable for your problem? Do you have the name of this person? Can you Google/LinkedIn them?

I also don't know whether I should ask him about his background (at least what's his relationship with the field, or with our company, or with my boss), as he might expect me to know already and me not knowing would put my boss in a bad position.

Should you not get any information on this person (even the information allowing you doing some research), be honest about it and ask them to tell something about themselves. You can do the same.

Any ideas or insight is appreciated.

One of the pitfalls in such a meeting is directly jumping to the problem the person is supposed to solve. You then tend to omit the human-level interaction.

What greatly helps (and some consultants are taught to) is to build trust with the cooperant in the beginning, clear the air with even some chit-chat. Once it is achieved, the talks go much smoother.

Long story short - treat this person as a human being, not as a problem-solving machine. If you get the click, you'll go a long way. If not, you can still achieve your goal, but it will be rough and bumpy.

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Where the consultant is from makes no difference. If you have an idea what you should be discussing then focus on that and gauge the consultants expertise and likelihood of solving the issues in general terms. It's just an initial meeting and you're going in without a lot of information.

Just do the normal stuff, act professional and polite. Pass off anything sensitive to your boss.

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