Just a minute

2014-01-17

A standard white lie at work is when someone says that "It will only take just a minute". Studies show that short briefing meetings are both disruptive and take much more time. The business consultant Cy Wakeman offers her best advice on how to make short meetings more effective.

The author and business consultant Cy Wakeman has looked at the issue of so-called "drive by" meetings and has taken a leaf out of the healthcare book where such meetings are vital and effective. All briefing meetings cannot be booked in advance and at times one has to tap on the boss' shoulder and say "Do you have a minute?".
Cy Wakeman recommends the so-called SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) method. And this is the order in which questions have to be put according to Wakeman.
Situation: explain the question briefly, who it involves.
Background: provide details of what has been done previously and the results of these attempts.
Assessment: explain what impact the situation can have if it is not solved.
Recommendation: provide a brief recommendation of how you would solve the question.
The most important aspect of the SBAR method is to focus on the question and not digress. Only then will meetings become truly effective.