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VERY URGENT – one to implement straight away…

Tags: Meetings | Impact | Save time | Do more | Influencing

10th January

Happy New Year!

I trust you had a wonderful break with family and friends, and are now getting back into the swing of things.

But not the same swing of things as last year.

And here’s why…

You might remember my Tip from mid-December, suggesting you use the Christmas/New Year break to help break your communication bad habits (I’ve copied the tip below for you).

Well, now’s the ideal time to start doing this.

As in, right now.

After all, if you don’t do it now, you’ll quickly get back into your old habits – even if you don’t want to.

Action Point

Re-read the Tip below. Identify the communications you should stop/reduce.

And stop/reduce them right now. Trust me on this: if you don’t do it now, you won’t do it.

To help motivate yourself to do it, remember that saving one hour a week equates to nearly 50 hours – over a working week – every year. And who wouldn’t want to remove a week’s worth of Update Meetings?

Here’s the Tip again for you…

Tuesday Tip: a very quick tip in the run-up to Christmas…

In the final few workdays before Christmas, things are different.

There’s a different atmosphere. There might be the odd office party or customer dinner. You’ll have a few final things to get wrapped-up before year-end. Your water-cooler conversations will be different than usual. And so on.

And your typical Communication Week will be different too. In other words, you might miss one of your regular-as-clockwork weekly Update Meetings. You might not send some of your regular daily emails. One of your regular team presentations might get cancelled.

And as you experience these changes to your Communication Week, ask yourself this:

       What problem would it cause if we made this temporary change a permanent one?

So, when you missed your weekly Update Meeting, did it cause cataclysmic harm that you didn’t know what each other had been doing?

When you didn’t send your daily email, but picked up the phone instead, did it make things worse?

When you didn’t do your team presentation, did your team suffer?

The reason this question is so important: we communicate based on habit, not logic. This means that this week’s communications will be similar to last week’s – even if they aren’t needed.

For example, I’ve met companies who have weekly Update Meetings that everybody – and I mean everybody – hates. So why have them?

I’ve seen people who create proposals by cutting/pasting bits from last week’s proposal… even though that one didn’t win.

I’ve seen people frustrated by others who don’t reply to their emails. And then they keep on chasing by email. And guess what? They still don’t reply.

We see actions driven by habit not logic everywhere. The person who wants to lose weight who has a biscuit at 11am every day. The person wanting to stop smoking who pops out for a cigarette break every lunchtime. The salesperson who always begins her pitch with “We were founded in 1922” but is yet to find anyone who cares.

So, as the build-up to Christmas forces you to temporarily change your habits, question whether these changes should become permanent. And, if they should…

Action Point

… for all the communications you don’t need to have, stop having them.

Or, at the very least, reduce something – their frequency, duration, number of agenda items, number of attendees... anything that means they take less time.

And one final quick tip: if you want to give your customers, your team or yourself the Christmas Gift of being better at communicating (and who wouldn’t?), now’s a great time to revisit this. Christmas work patterns mean you’ll have extra time to throw yourself into it over the next few days, and help yourself break even more habits.