I was facilitating a training class this week and asked participants one thing they loved and hated about meetings. Meetings are SOOOO expensive and it is important that every meeting should help move things forward with top velocity. One participant said she hates it when people talk beyond the point of contribution. What a great way to phrase a common problem!!! I told her it would make a great blog post title and here it is.
Twitter is just 140 characters. The best blog posts are often short and saturated quickly get to the point. Should the same logic apply to meeting conversations?
Well, sort of. Yes, with a caveat. I am a proponent of great and deep conversation. That said, there is usually someone almost every most meetings has at least one over participator - someone who does not know how to make a clear and concise point at every meeting.
We have the "little book" from Strunk and White to help us learn how to write concisely. Where do we go to learn how to speak concisely? How does one best learn how to make a point and then STOP TALKING? It's not The Dale Carnegie Course or Toastmasters, these teach presentation more than conversation skills.
Perhaps we would get be better at talking right up to the point of highest contribution more effective if we wrote our thoughts down ahead of time. Those extra words and phrases (and circular thought patterns) are so much more obvious when you write, read, and then edit your messages.
Give it a try. Write what you want to say and then cut, cut, cut until you can make your point with 50% fewer words. I could go on about going on, but that would be rather ironic, now wouldn't it? But be careful not to strikethrough the best parts, OK?