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Archive for the category “meetings”

4 touch points for more successful meetings


4 touch points for more successful meetings 

Which is more important: Consensus or consent? This is a question that should beg itself to anyone who attends one of many business meetings. Most often, people attempt to reach consensus. A lot of time is spent striving for the all but impossible consensus. Problem with that is that it is a close relative to compromise. I give a little, and you give a little, and voila we have reached a compromise and thus can reach consensus on an issue. The counterproductive result is neither party gets what they really wanted. Perhaps worse, the issue is so watered down that the initial intent is totally missed and the whole team loses.

Why spend the time and energy convincing the others that everyone needs to approve and also needs to like the final result?

  1. It is much better to make your point and see if it can get the majority supporting it. That is best done by the meeting facilitator who lists all the solutions to the issues at hand.
  2. This is followed by putting this list up on e.g. a whiteboard and letting everybody vote for their top three solutions. This way you will shrink down and perhaps consolidate your long list.
  3. Now instead of focusing on getting everybody to give a little to take a little, drive home the point being able to consent to an idea / concept.
  4. Consent is different as it only requires for everyone to be committed to moving ahead with whatever the team finally decides to do.

The fine but important line between consent and consensus is worth hours and oodles of frayed nerves none of which any leader-manager ought to jeopardize in regular business meetings. Don’t settle, but seek consent and commitment to the agreed upon goals. Get involved and make sure your designated meeting facilitator is on board with the concept.

Ralf

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2 ways of dealing with conversations – brevity is your friend


2 ways of dealing with conversations – brevity is your friend 

People who talk a lot will not give you an order or good service no matter if you are a customer or a sales representative. You are not getting good service or an order when you are speaking with people who talk like waterfalls. Sure it may feel great being around these folks. They make you feel good and the time seems to just fly by. Next thing you know is that you are out of time and under the bottom line there is a whole lot of nothing.

Set yourself a time limit of tolerating the otherwise enjoyable conversation. If you have to get a minimum of progress achieved then stick to getting that done. When should you make an exception? Exceptions are made for folks whom you have met on the account of synchronicity – that is meeting them seemingly coincidently but strangely enough somehow on purpose. One never knows what those conversations lead to. All other conversations you might as well keep as short as you can.

Ralf

1 piece of advice when seeking advice from experts


1 piece of advice when seeking advice from experts 

Oh boy, this can be a challenge. What do you want to hear from an expert? In most cases you already know what the so called expert is going to tell you. That is the ironic thing with seeking expert advice. Most situations have deteriorated so badly by the time that you need advice that it is too late to do anything yourself, but in essence you already know how you got there and the basic options that are available to you to make everything better. The biggest wrinkle is whether or not you know what you want and what to choose when the expert presents you with some tough choices. You want the expert possibly provide you with a better outcome at a lower risk and cost. Most often this does not really work out well. Experts are much like the majority of consultants in business: They tell you the hard truth of what you already knew and they get to charge money for it and on top of it all you have to do the hard work anyway – and they do not even have to stay for the duration.

Do not fret this situation. The way out of this mental one-way street is to have a plan that represents the choices and decisions that you have to make. The next thing is to share this plan with your friends and family members. With this kind of preparation then go to the expert (I like the word specialist better) and ask for advice. Continue with the planning and then execute the plan. Review your choices frequently and make corrections if need be. Good luck!

Ralf

11 tactics fighting too much work and too little time


11 tactics fighting too much work and too little time 

Are you feeling stressed out because you are overcommitted? Does your manager not pick up on the clues that you are at the brink of a work burn out? This can happen when you are totally over committed with work and you think you just do not have any time to cram any more into your schedule. You may even feel powerless because you have no other options. This feels very uncomfortable and your work and health may eventually suffer. Here are some ways helping fight this phenomenon.

  • Prioritize: What is really important? Make sure that you only do the tasks you really need to do. Be rigorous about the stuff that you decide to pay attention to. Resist accepting tasks that are not really yours even if they appear to be easy to do. See the next point.
  • Delegation: How much of the work you do should really be done by others who are perhaps even more qualified, or have more time to do this?
  • Vigilance: Be vigilant about having a clear task scope, having a clear time line, and also a firm commitment between the person who issues the task and you.
  • Candor: How candid have you been with yourself? How candid have you been with your boss? Only when you share how you feel and what would happen if nothing happens will you pave the way for lasting change.
  • Advocate for yourself: Make certain that you go back to your boss and share how overcommitted you are. Ponder ways how to mitigate the situation and have those solutions handy for your conversation with your boss. You get what you tolerate.
  • Identification: What is really behind the definition of “I do not have time”? Do you not have the time, or you are just not making the time?
  • Planning ahead: Interestingly enough, half of your issues may just be due to not planning ahead enough. Make the important things a priority and they will happen as long as you allowed the time for it.
  • Preparation: Prepare your fiercest issues well before you take them to the key stake holders. The better prepared you are, the greater the chance that you will be able to do what you want to do and thus get more wiggle room for doing the things that you really want to do. Those are the ones that give you energy rather than help draining it.
  • Do not wait for a miracle: Do something about your situation. Think about how you would like for things to work out for you and start delivering results. You will get noticed.
  • Subscribe to the 5 minute rule: First thing every morning start tasks that you have procrastinated for a while. Promise yourself that you will spend 5 minutes working on it. Most projects will take less than 3 minutes – promised.

When you really think about it, there are many ways of dealing with over-commitment on your part. Try giving one of the 11 tactics a try and provide me/ us with some feedback below in the comment section. If I can do this, so can you. All you have to do is making the decision to start and then actually deliver on this promise.

Ralf

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