Throughout October, we are focussing on things that you can stop or reduce in order to free up time for other things. Last week, it was sulking and today, it's spending too long on research ahead of meetings.
Certainly, we do not want to ‘rock up and hope for the best’ (as one big and disgruntled law firm client told me she often sees). But the reverse is just as common. Many of us have a predisposition to do buckets of research and analysis so we can get everything in order before a meeting. This means that research becomes a huge daunting task that is either ignored completely, or done to death and eats into other things.
Follow these three rules to make sure you strike a balance:
1. Before you start, allocate a set time (45-60 mins will normally suffice).
2. Think what you want to achieve in the meeting – and tilt your attention to elements of research that will help you achieve it.
3. Don’t get lost in desktop research – the data is infinite and available to all. Spend at least as much time speaking to people who know the contact, the organisation, and the sector. This is the surest way to bring humanity, insight, and relevance to the discussion.
Follow these three rules and you will find that pre-meeting research is hugely effective – without taking over your life.
“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.” - Bruce Lee
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