Time is very valuable. We are encouraged to make the most of time and be the best that we can be. So what does this looks like on a day-to-day basis once you have your vision for the future and start working towards it?
One of the aspects that I think is really important in answering this is around who you spend time with and what you do in that time. Clearly, I am talking here about business interactions, the same is true I believe for personal time, but that’s a different story!
It’s about the conversation
I hope you will agree that great things happen when you have a really brilliant conversation with another person or people. We all see the world and situations based on our own unique experiences to date. Real value comes from sharing perspectives and looking at things from more than one angle to get the best possible outcome.
Don’t you just love those conversations where people put forward their views in an open and honest way and there is healthy debate that results in much better decisions and outcomes than if you’d just worked on an issue alone or where one individual dominated the conversation? I know I do and it is so much more fun than sitting through endless presentation slides!
The business benefits of working in this way are enormous; you harness the experience and expertise of everyone in the room and build ideas together in a way that drives action afterwards. People come out of this type of meeting feeling they have used their time in a valuable way and that they have been valued because their point of view was really listened to. Hugely powerful stuff.
As we start September, a lot of business minds turn to planning the future. Taking a ‘valuable conversations’ approach to this can deliver a better result in much less time. I strongly suggest that slide presentations could be banned during the time people spend together. This type of information can be shared in advance. For me this is one of the key factors behind our research statistic showing 46% of time in meetings is wasted. Reviewing slides, whose content could have been distributed ahead of time, isn’t always a good use of time. (Doesn’t mean you don’t effectively ask if everyone understands the data. But do it as part of an agenda that is conversation driven not slide driven.)
Clear away the distractions
The whole point in meeting is to have really great conversations!
Success comes from:
- Clarity of purpose and outcomes
- People being prepared for the meeting
- Having a mutual mind set where listening and learning from others’ perspectives is a priority
- Great conversations where views are openly shared and discussed
- Informed decisions being made and actions agreed
Getting to this does not happen by accident, it takes effort around design and intention for the meeting. I know from previous experience that it is also much harder to achieve when you need to be very involved in the conversations, too. It is impossible to place sufficient focus on both the process needed to get great outcomes and manage the content in a meeting.
It really helps if you can have someone working alongside you to achieve the best possible outcome. Meeting Magic has been doing this for our clients for over 16 years. Can we help you?
If you would like to explore a new approach to a business planning or other important strategic meeting then please get in touch. If you are in my neighborhood, I’d love to have a conversation over coffee! Otherwise a call, Skype or GoTo Meeting works well, too.
To get in touch with Fiona Stratford or any of our team, call us at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form telling us a little of what you want to chat about. We reply as quickly as we can.