When talking to Brussels, go for clarity and humility

This is a story I heard in Brussels.  A globally prominent CEO was having troubles with the EU’s competition commission.  He announced he was coming to town.  He arrived with a fleet of black cars.  He insisted on a reserved elevator to take him to his meeting.

The result: His company’s troubles with the commission continued for years.

Remember two things in dealing with Brussels.

First, the commission staff is made up of genuine experts in their fields.  If you talk to them knowledgeably and with clarity, they will listen and they will hear.

Second, treat the staff with respect.  Don’t sweep in like the king of the world.  Show some humility.  The staff knows you have your job to do.  Show that you know they have theirs.

Clark Judge As Managing Director of the White House Writers Group, Clark Judge provides strategic communications counsel to clients in industries ranging from financial services to transportation to high technology.

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