In nearly every workshop I teach, I ask a question that sounds something like this:
“How many of you attend too many meetings that run long?” Nearly every hand goes up, every time.
“How many of you get too many emails that are too overwhelming to read?” Nearly every hand goes up, every time.
“How many of you wish your colleagues would get to the point more quickly?” Same result… every hand.
“How many of you think your colleagues think the same way about you?” Not nearly as many hands go up.
We all want others to be brief. But few of us show the same courtesy to our colleagues that we want them to show to us. The classic conundrum…
Do everything you can to get to the point quickly, please. How? Lead with the most important stuff, leave out the extraneous detail, plan for 20 minutes if you are told you have 30, watch the clock, and aim to finish five minutes early, every time.
It’s not hard. It just takes preparation, content frameworks and practice.
Make it a goal. If you develop the reputation of having valuable meetings or presentations that finish early, they are going to build a statue in your honor in the parking lot.
Have a great day.
At The Latimer Group, we believe that successful teams are built on honesty, open communication, and collaboration. For more on team building and team communication, look for Dean Brenner’s book, Sharing the Sandbox: Building and Leading Great Teams in the 21st Century, on sale now.
Photo: stina jonsson