One of the most frequent questions or objections we hear in our workshops, usually delivered right about the time we are teaching our Latimer Group Model for Persuasion, is this… “I don’t have the time to do the things you are telling me to do. I know I need to, but I just don’t have the time.”
This is real. We are all time starved (as I write this at 5am because it is the only time of day I can find to get it done!) Time management is a real problem. We get it.
But here is our polite response. If you convince yourself that you don’t have the time to prepare correctly for your meetings, presentations, conference calls or important conversations, then you are setting yourself up to spend even MORE time cleaning up a situation that didn’t go as well as it could have.
When you are not prepared, you are less likely to get the outcome you want or need. That costs time.
When you are not prepared, the meeting does not end on a good note, so subsequent meetings are needed to finish the conversation.That also costs time.
When you are not prepared, people don’t get the message as clearly, don’t do the necessary follow-ups that need to be done, ask lots of follow-up questions via email because they were not quite clear on the main message… you get the idea. Bad (or NO) preparation costs time.
The point is simply this. You will spend the time one way or another. You will either spend it preparing up front, or you will spend it cleaning things up afterwards. Your choice. But if you spend the time up front, you will get better outcomes, AND you will also brand yourself as someone who is always prepared and doesn’t waste others’ time, which builds credibility, which is hugely valuable… and which is the topic for a future post.
Spend the time to be prepared up front. It is better for everyone, especially you.
Have a great day.
I couldn’t help but notice the title uses the words “prepare for meetings”, but in the discussion, the words “correctly prepare for meetings” are used. This distinction, intended or not, illustrates we are actually dealing with is a continuum. There is an “appropriate” level of preparedness for every meeting and the answer is highly dependent on the meeting’s importance, risks, participants, etc. In some cases, the appropriate level of preparation may be [none beyond current knowledge]. One can always over-achieve on preparedness and probably obtain some added margin of goodness, but that likely means something else under-achieved. Truth is, decisions on meeting preparedness require judgment and subjectivity and a little bit of risk management too.
P.S. I don’t always get it right.