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Host Etienne de Bruin shares a powerful way to reframe difficult meetings with developers. In this episode, Etienne will discuss the ABC of getting on the same page and how to deal with complicated meetings that don’t go as planned.

Key ideas:

  • Etienne shares his experiences of meetings with developers where there is a misunderstanding or disagreement about a project. He acknowledges the frustration and concern that can arise for a leader in these situations.
  • The importance of creating a clear project vision, mission, and values, which serve as a governing document that provides guidance when things become challenging.
  • The challenges leaders face in meetings where there is disagreement with their teams, such as repeated explanations, pushback, and exceptions that take up most of the meeting.
  • The ABC approach for dealing with difficult meetings:
    • Awareness: The first step in dealing with these meetings is awareness, where leaders should write down their feelings and observations during the meeting. This includes noting any fixation on a potential issue, and understanding what is happening in the meeting.
    • Be Blameless: The second step is to approach the meeting without assigning blame. Leaders should aim to be blameless, which means not blaming others or themselves, but instead focusing on finding a solution.
    • Be Committed: The final step is to stay committed to your goal. “Stay committed to your developers, stay committed to your team, stay committed to the projects and the outcomes that you’re pursuing,” Etienne says.
  • The ABC approach provides a framework for leaders to handle difficult meetings, reducing frustration and helping to find a solution that everyone can agree on.

Are you a CTO looking to take your role to the next level? Or are you stepping into a new CTO position and want to make the most of your first 100 days? Then you won’t want to miss out on this exciting new project! 

On March 7th, Etienne is releasing his highly anticipated book “The Essential First 100 Days for CTOs”. 

It’s a must-read for all aspiring and established CTOs. This comprehensive guide covers all the key elements to revamp your role as a CTO at your existing company, or get off to a strong start in your new role.

Head over to and join the mailing list for all the latest updates on where and when you can purchase the book.