In consulting with one of our Peak Performer Members, a common issue came up. How often does this happen to you?
You’re in a meeting with a staff member… one of several meetings you have scheduled for the day. You anticipated that it would take thirty minutes at the most. Unfortunately, your employee happens to be extra chatty. As he goes off on his third tangent of the morning, you note with annoyance that the meeting has already run fifteen minutes over, and even if you rein him in immediately, it’s going to take at least ten more minutes to wrap everything up.
Allow this to happen in all of your meetings and phone calls, and your schedule is completely derailed. What’s worse, you’ve squandered your most precious asset – your time!
So, what can you do about it?
- Recognize that if this happens repeatedly, then you’re sending a cue that it’s okay for them to control your time – STOP SENDING THIS MESSAGE. How?
- Have an agenda for each of your meetings, and allocate a specific amount of time. Start each meeting by saying, “I have ___ minutes for this meeting, does that work for you?”
- Ask everyone who reports to you to be “intentional” with their speaking. Let them know in no uncertain terms… we’re up to big things in this firm and our time is our most valuable asset.
Don’t be worried about hurting anyone’s feelings. Believe me they’ll respect you more for your leadership. Running a successful law practice is not a popularity contest and although you should be respectful, you must set the tone and rhythm of your firm. As President Truman used to say about his job in Washington, “If you want a friend, get a dog!”
President & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
6050 Santo Rd., Ste. 240
San Diego, CA 92124