Time Management Expert, Event Speaker: Mark Lamendola

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Time Tips: Phone Tip#2

The telephone is a powerful potential time trap. In a previous article, we talked about preparing a short list of the topics you want to discuss and we also talked about ending a call when things have petered out.

Another aspect of saving time when using the phone is to clean up that list before calling. And I don't mean pare it down for the sole purpose of limiting how much there is to discuss. What you discuss and what points you raise are even more critical.

Here's a short case history. I had a problem with something another person was doing. So, I wrote up a list of my key points and fleshed them out a bit. Then I read through these and asked myself these questions:

  • How important is each of these points to address?
  • Which are about my venting and which are actually helpful?
  • What outcome do I desire?
  • What suggestions might I have to improve the other person's act?
  • What am I missing that reflects a sympathetic perspective?
  • Which items are telling this person something she already knows?

Then, I reviewed the message to see how well I would be talking with this person, rather than talking at her. The goal was to make her feel the call was valuable to her, rather than having it come across as an attack or a push to conform to my view of how things should be. I wanted to focus on a positive outcome, not on being right.

The final result was vastly different from what I had originally intended to say, and the call itself was very pleasurable for both of us. Which made me sweat over how many times I had not gone through this process and just made a total ass out of myself. Oh, well.

I think when you take the time to properly prepare your message, you can reduce the time wasted apologizing for things you didn't mean to communicate but communicated nonetheless. And, you can reduce the time lost to missing out on the valuable resource that other people can be. Most of all, you use your own time much better. It's never a waste of time to make another person feel good. If you can do that while also helping someone improve, then you have made very good use of everyone's time.



Do you want to radically improve how well people in your organization make use of the limited number of hours in each work day?

Contact me to arrange a time when we can talk about a presentation: mark@mindconnection.com. Why arrange a time? So I can give you full attention during the call. There's a really powerful time management tip. Ask me why it works.