Interview your stakeholders like a librarian

Grand 1-2
Wed, Nov 08
2:50 p.m.-3:40 p.m.

Have you ever delivered exactly what your manager or colleagues asked for ... only to hear “No, this isn’t what I wanted at all”? Presented content that fulfilled every requirement you were given, only to have it rejected? Tried to find out what your end users needed only to hear the echo of old Henry Ford saying “if I’d asked them what they wanted they would’ve said ‘faster horses’”? These communication issues can sink your team or project before it gets started—but they don’t have to.

Librarians know that people often don’t ask for what they really need. By asking the right kinds of questions at the right time, you too can deploy ninja librarian mind-reading tactics! Anne Haines will draw on over a decade of library reference experience to help you discover new strategies for wowing stakeholders by giving them what they didn’t even know they needed.

Attendees will:

  • Understand the power of question negotiation, active listening, and other strategies which can help you steer your stakeholders towards more effective communication.
  • Explore different kinds of questions that can work in a wide range of contexts to help you collaboratively define your stakeholders’ problems so that you can get to work solving them.
  • Consider ways to apply active empathy in order to foster a more transparent and productive collaboration.

About Anne Haines

Anne Haines is the Web Content Specialist in the Discovery & User Experience Department of the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, where she wrangles over 100 content contributors and a handful of social media accounts and still manages to look on the bright side of most things most of the time. Anne has spoken at Confab Central, Confab Higher Ed, edUi, and some library conferences with acronyms for titles. You can find her hanging out at the intersection of content strategy and librarianship, singing a doo-wop tune underneath the streetlight.

Want to attend this session?

Confab Higher Ed offers lots of great talks like this one.
View the conference program.