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Keep meetings to 45 minutes

meetingsBe Effective and Efficient

It is nice to be nice, but how often have you met someone professionally only to walk away after 60 or 90 minutes confused by why you met that day to catch-up?  Is that a good use of your time?  The normal reaction is No.

I generally recommend you reply to meeting requests to ask why they want to meet in person. If they have a specific reason in mind, but don’t communicate this with you, it could mean that you are unprepared and at a slight disadvantage.  Time is money, we all need to use the 18 hours in each day to our best advantage.

Some people may think this is abrupt, it is not meant to be, but the main goal when working is to use the time as wisely as possible, this way you do not waste time and then chase your shadow when you leave having met for a coffee and not got anything from it – apart from a nice, friendly catch-up.

For catch-ups and to touch base maybe try Video Skype or even just pick up the phone.  When you have a meeting arranged, normally you spend some time preparing, then travel time to get to the venue, car parking if in city centre and then by the time you have traveled back to your place of work, 2 hours+ could have very easily passed.  What I recommend at all times is fast, efficient but effective meetings.

Structure of an effective meeting;

  • Introduction re why you are both there
  • Agree how long you have i.e. time wise
  • Take notes as you talk
  • Confirm what you have agreed half way through the time allocated
  • Summarise and double-check what you have agreed
  • Agree action points – who is doing which task & by what date
  • Email with follow-up

If you genuinely do just want a coffee & to catch-up, it might be better to arrange this out of office hours or at the weekend, when the pressure may be off slightly.

45 minutes is normally long enough, so think of a start, middle and end – each have 15 minutes or 7 minutes to allow for natural dialogue.  I have found that people can be cautious about coming across as rude by asking why you want to meet them, so I do try & spell it out, i.e. I would really like to meet to find out if we can help each other, or I have some potential work and could utilise your skills if you have availability.  These two meetings would have different formats and the latter would be much more specific and detailed.

If you would like some coaching around managing business meetings, please make contact.  There is funding available if you wish training via Skills Development Scotland.

Thank you for reading this blog, if you want more information about Louise Wightman, Approach The Coach please visit the website http://approachthecoach.co.uk.  Don’t forget to link in with me using the social media buttons above so we can get to know each other.  Louise is a Business Coach, Social Media Trainer, SEO and Website Designer  based in Glasgow, Scotland. Our Digital Website is Digital Business Solutions and can be found here http://www.digitalbusinesssolutions.co.uk

Originally posted 2014-06-22 16:18:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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