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  • Writer's pictureJames Lush

How to take the 60 minute meeting to 30 and get half your day back!

Perhaps it comes from 25 years of broadcasting or hearing continual tales of woe from all my coaching and training clients, but what's become very apparent over the years is that people are seriously pushed for time! One client told me it was until 5pm when everyone else had gone home could he get on with "his" work! With a young child and family clearly this was far from ideal.





In a radio interview I generally have around 5 minutes to cut to the chase. I haven't got time for the padding and puffery extended to so many of our conversations/meetings. I get straight to the point, find the reason for the chat and aim for a clear objective. It means I come prepared to that conversation - I know where I'm going and what I want to achieve. It strikes me that isn't generally what happens in a meeting.


Firstly we tend to lock in an hour (default) when an hour is way too long. If these are "zoom" meetings this is especially the case. It means we get "flabby" - we may rock up late, we chat about the weather, the weekend or the Wild West. We let the "look at me" leaders hog the conversation, we get sidetracked, we think of what else we could/should be doing and we leave because the clock runs out. It's ineffective, inefficient and uninspiring.


But we can do so much better! Think of it like I do with regards to a radio interview - it's all about the audience and the outcome we are after. Here are 5 simple steps to introduce (according to the feedback I get, they are game changers):


1) If the meeting is for 5 or less, make it 30 minutes maximum.

2) If you're hosting the meeting, make sure people know what objective is and send out (the day before) a simple one page plan (with any notes) summing up the agenda and actions required to discuss.

3) Be action focused! That means everything must have a purpose. Stay on track, stop people from "hogging" the time and allocate the action required to the right person.

4) Keep the energy level up and distractions down - try standing for the meeting (that has a huge impact). Put your phones away (the pings and notifications take your mind off the job. It can often take up to 30 seconds to bring it back).

5) Finally, spend the last 5 minutes summarising what just happened. Allow time for further clarification or discussion and make sure everyone knows their tasks.


Like anything this will need a bit of practice. The more you hold these meetings the better they will get. But the rewards are huge:


1) You will shift the mindset - from flabby to fit!

2) You'll find yourself with an extra few hours per day

3) You'll have a team that feels more valued and inspired.


So, go on! Try it - I dare you! It's a shift of mindset that will change your routine, give you more time to think and leave you enthused and inspired once again.


For more details on OAP (Objective, Audience and Preparation) and how I could energise your organisation, you might be interested in my training/coaching or speaking offering. Alternatively take a listen to my podcast series "Purpose & Vision" for inspiration on how business can and should be done today.



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