Do you feel like you are on a treadmill all day? One foot in front of the other, one meeting after another, one conversation after the last conversation?
Are you purposeful in each of those meetings? By purposeful I mean do you have a clear intention for what you want to achieve and how you want to engage with others? It’s tough to do. But, just as in life or business planning, if you don’t have an end in mind you are less likely to get there.
Setting the clear intention requires knowing what you want as an outcome. And, it takes time. That time can feel hard to grab when you go from your workout to the train or car to the office and…the treadmill speeds up…and home to the family…and another day.

3 Questions in 2 Minutes

You can’t convince me that you can’t find two minutes between meetings. Even if you have to go to the restroom, fake a phone call, or think as you walk to the next room, you can make the time. In two minutes you can answer three questions:
  1. What is the purpose (stated or implied) for this meeting?
  2. What outcome(s) do I want?
  3. What is my role (official or unofficial) in achieving that outcome?

Often times, the meeting leader hasn’t done this work either, whether there is an agenda or not. If so, you can ask before the meeting “what do we want to achieve in this meeting? A decision? New ideas? Shared understanding?”

Then, be in the meeting and look for the opportunity to ask a question or assert a perspective that will move the group or person toward you intended outcome.