Do you over-aside?

I’ve noticed recently a tendency in myself and others to add layer upon layer of explanation when we are talking. Once I saw it, I realised how counter-productive it is.

We think we are helping, but we’re not. Piling up information faster than the recipient can process it.

I park my car a few hundred meters from where I work. I enjoy the walk in the morning, and the time to slow down on the way home.

Succint and tells you all that you need to know about where I park.

I park my car around the corner from work because there is free parking. If I can’t get a park I park in the multi-storey car park where I have to pay. Where I previously worked there were people who paid for parking each day just to be a little closer. That’s something like $1,250 a year and I’ve got better things to spend my money on. Though sometimes when I parked there I’d forget and walk back to where I normally parked. Once I even did it in the rain. Anyway, I park in, what’s the name of the street?. I can never remember.

Adding aside, after aside, only confuses the key message. Keep an eye out for it in your communication and assess its effects on those around you – and you when you’re the recipient.

The true nature of meetings

A couple of days ago, my dauughter asked in all seriousness if I spent all day in mneetings, or did I get a chance to do some actual work. She’d been in a 1.5hr meeting planning some activities for her Uni course.

It led me to think:

What meetings should be – conversations where we share information in order to coordinate action.

What meetings too often are – opportunities to force opinions in order to coerce others.