an idea around the effective meeting management recently posted in blog ecosystem.

glad to see your opinion on that... 


Loose 5 to win more


Have you encountered finding yourself standing in the front of a quiet room,  alone if lucky, or with the fellow colleagues you have a meeting with? Standing and waiting 2-3 minutes, with a slice of pathetic silence, with the bitter taste of failure in your mouth? All this against the good preparation you made for the session and just because the colleagues in the room overrun their session and were failing to manage their meeting?


This is really not fair, you may state immediately. The fair play should be like the 'eye for an eye' logic. They are managing their session/meeting poorly, they are perhaps not applying ground rules, including the start and finish in time. Why should I change my method? Why should I be the one changing when they were failing? In a fair situation they should be the one paying more attention on time management and they should change. You are fully and 100% right with this logic. 


Why is this approach not working, though? Why do you find yourself in the same situation, same bitter feeling day after day, meeting after meeting again?

The answer is obvious. Only if you remember some other certain laws and not falling to the flaws. 

First one is that life is not fair, work is not guided around fairness, you are not assessed how fair you are but on the results you generate and how efficient you are achieving them. 

The second one is the power and ability of change things, more precisely the target/area of change. Many relationships, both personal and work related, fail and suffer from the intention and energy put on changing the others. All these failures due to the flaw, that people think they can change others. You can try and in some case the change is happening. So you think your logic, you can change others, is justified and true due the success. Which is certainly wrong again. Any success there is caused by the other party realizing the need to change her/himself and going thru the change. This positive outcome has no connection to your efforts. It might be good for your self-confidence to think or believe you changed the other. But that would be just a convenient and devilish good thing for your ego and nothing to do with the reality.


What could be the right logic then?

You are a professional expert or manager, listening to Horstman's casts and living his laws. So you 'instinctually' know that how you feel is your failure and feelings are not helping either you or your organization to be more effective and having less handicap. So at the end, closing out the flaw of fairness and trap of change, you  land with the question: 'What can I do, what do I need to change in my system to get this to an acceptable level?' 

The key points are the right 'who' and the right 'level,. That's why the bold type, not due to the ego. So I need to be the one adapting, not they and I need to accept the fact that I can't eliminate this on 100%. With other words, I have to 'kill' the perfectionist in myself.


After such long preface, the answer is short and simply. Change your meeting schedule to end 5 mins earlier. That's the only thing you can do to reduce the occurrence of the situation. The impact of this change is much higher, though less obvious, less direct. The 'collateral damage' are the followings:

  • Lower negative impact of your session overrunning
  • Increased professionalism
  • Better relationships

 For example, you plan a 1-0-1 to end 13.55 instead of 14.00. So you focus your hard stop 5mins earlier and if you fail, you just use your contingency and not the resource of others.  (time is static and just enablement resource) You perform thus better risk management and better time management. Certainly, the 5 min is taken away from your 10 mins and not from your direct. You're the boss, you can get that 5 mins back anytime.  But you will be seen as more professional, as you minimized the impact of your failure to the others. 

You indirectly increase your relationships. Why that? Just imagine the other usual situation at the end of the meetings. The next session's chair knocks and opens 3 mins before 2 to see whether he can finish his preparation in the room. 

In which case would say your fellow colleague 'gosh, he's good! Thinks with the others and not just with himself! He's a pro!What business pends with him?'

Opportunity created...

An idea worth nothing without implementing, so I'm closing this post with thanks for your time reading and with a 'CU in a quiet room!'