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Communication, On the job Skills, Sidetracked, Uncategorized

BUSTED for not paying attention in a meeting? Use my ‘get out of jail’ phrase

If I owned a company I would revolutionize how we communicate and share information.  I mean, the world has changed. so. much. socially, yet we still use painfully long meetings and massive Powerpoint decks as our primary vehicles in the business world.

In my company, meetings would be 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes.  No longer.  Only essential information would be communicated.  We’d also have an enterprise, internal Twitter account.  I don’t think such a thing exists but I have tweeted to Twitter to get on this.  Create a specialized twitter product for companies to revolutionize the internal communication process.  Force people to a character limit with a link to their document or presentation.  Out with emails…in with the feed!  C’mon people, let’s get with it!!

But alas, as of today I don’t run a company.  So, I have to sit in meetings.  I’m a thinker, which means my brain is constantly going.  And, because I can get to the heart of a matter and drive to a solution in…oh I dunno…sixty seconds I’m usually working over some other issue in my head while I sit there.  Once or twice (!!) I have like totally spaced out and lost track of the whole convo. Then, innocently, I sometimes get called on to join in on the conversation.  So what do I do?? Here’s my trick:

I think back to the last thing I can remember of any meaning.  Let’s say it was something Chris said.  So I say “hey sorry mate, didn’t hear the question.  I got a little lost in thought. When Chris said X it got me thinking about….”  And I have a number of ways to end that sentence, which I can do on the fly.  So yeah, I’m busted for not paying attention, but I save face by making my little space-out seem relevant to or building on the dialogue at hand.  And all the while I was planning out how I was going to run my next meeting or deliver a performance review in a few days.  But, never (NEVER!) thinking about what I want for dinner that night.  Nope, not me.

You know, some of this stuff I share leaves me hoping not TOO many people read these articles closely….or at least…anyone I worked for…

Enjoy. It’s all yours.

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