By Heather Campbell >>
Too often in conversations we try to achieve too much at a time. We are not satisfied with allowing time to share views and then working through these to find a resolution the next time we meet; instead we want to open up the subject and find resolution all in one discussion.
We seek to cover ten agenda items in a meeting when there is time for only three. We seek to convince people to commit to a whole new way of thinking rather than accepting that good progress may be getting their agreement that it is time for a new way of thinking, and then introducing the new idea at a later date.
This need for speed in conversations is not surprising in time-pressured business environments. But it is counter-productive and wastes time rather than saves it.
Creating space to truly listen to different perspectives rather than pushing for resolution without this understanding makes it quicker to find a meaningful resolution in the long run. Taking time to discuss three agenda items in detail rather than going for a breath-taking skim through ten leads to clarity and focussed action. Having the patience to encourage others to buy in to our ideas a little bit at a time – rather than seeking the “giant leap” all at once – results in real commitment.
If you want to get results from your conversations, make sure the outcome you are seeking to achieve fits within the time available rather than cramming in too much. You will find you have shorter and more focussed conversations, clearer outcomes and greater commitment as a result.