Lesson 027: A priori knowledge mandatory before meeting
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 5/13 ('The Masterpiece Society')


On a first contact mission with a new alien civilization, Troi gets emotionally involved with the leader of the alien world, prior to the leader's initial introductory meeting with Capt. Picard.

As Capt. Picard and Troi head for their first official meeting together with the leader of the alien world, Troi pauses to confess to Capt. Picard that she has behaved unprofessionally by getting involved in an inappropriate relationship with the planet's leader.

Despite facing the consequences of the admission of her guilt, she explains that she wanted to make sure that Capt. Picard knew all the facts pertaining to all the parties involved in the meeting, before Capt. Picard convened the meeting.


In any professional meeting, especially negotiation oriented meeting, one of the most critical factors to success is the proper and timely access to information in preparation for the meeting.

It is not enough to know just the facts and figures. Many times, it is the fore-knowledge of the individuals involved in the meeting that can give the upper hand in any successful negotiations.

Just as all good coaches and trainers formulate their strategies for the next game or match by studying the rival's latest data, including reviewing past performances, so should anyone heading into any professional meeting.

Knowing the meeting participant individuals likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses can help prepare one to control the direction of the meeting into self-beneficial venues.

One of the biggest deterrents to success is, of course, the introduction of any new damaging information, which was unbeknownst theretofore. Any surprise disclosure of facts seen unfavorable to one's own agenda can quickly derail accomplishing any pre-set objectives.

Therefore, in order to avoid such situations, one must have extremely trustworthy and diligent resources that will not leave any stone or rock unturned in gathering information for the meeting. It goes without saying that if there is any wrong-doing or even the mere appearance of inappropriate behavior on anyone's part, then, it must become a priori knowledge before the meeting.

Hopefully, everyone's staff resource is as conscientious and courageous as Troi and will voluntarily disclose such information to their management without any reservation, before it is too late.

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