Invest the first ten minutes

You’ve set up a 30 minute introduction meeting to get up to speed on that project. So, you have got 3 options on what to do in the first 10 minutes –

1. Jump straight into business (with some small talk added to taste)
2. Do a quick introduction – “I work for xx team and I am now working on this project” – and get to business.
3. Invest the first ten minutes into getting to know each other

As might be obvious from the title of the post, I believe option 3 is the way to go.

Choosing option 1 and 2 is a sign that we believe that the purpose of the meeting is to get onboard quickly. Of course, they are both the more efficient options.

However, the real purpose of the first meeting with someone you are going to work with is to build a relationship of trust. And, trust requires us to first get to know them and, in time, understand them. It is this trust that will enable us to work together in a team. And, it is the bedrock of true long term effectiveness.

Also, here’s another thought – why not start every introduction meeting the same way? Sure, that one might be with someone who you just want a quick short term favor from. But, do you really know that?

What if we approached every relationship as a potential long term relationship?

Ten minutes can go a long way.

4 thoughts on “Invest the first ten minutes

  1. Excellent approach! People buy you not your product or company so it makes sense to invest in developing the relationship first.

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  2. Rohan I totally agree! Hate the sentiment that meetings are unproductive and that “small talk” is especially unproductive. Immediate productivity is not the only point of meetings. It is building lasting relationships that actually serve as a platform for much greater efficiency and productivity in the future. I think about the time I’ve actually saved in the long run from relationships I’ve invested in up front. I can email them without painstakingly couching my language since I know they will get my intentions. We can come up with new ideas together quickly in a rapidfire brainstorm because we didn’t need to get over hurdles of trust and fear.

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