It’s Monday Morning … and you’re in a meeting that matters. You want to make the most of your time, and you want to make something useful of the meetings’ outcomes. You agree with the old adage: “It is not the number of hours you put in, but what you put in the hours that counts.” And so you can’t stand a wasted meeting.
Here’s a tip: In the last few minutes of your next meeting, “blurb” the highlights of the meeting, and then make plans to take action.
Let me explain. On Friday I sat next to the editor of espn.com’s golf section as we traveled from Washington, DC to San Francisco. I was coming home from company and client meetings in Arlington as he was on his way to prepare for the U.S. Open that begins later this week. I told him he has a cool job! And he agreed, but added that it’s not always that easy – 18 hour-days during tournaments, loads of travel miles, and having to constantly hover over website “hits” and tweets to pulse what customers care about. A crucial part of his job, he said, is to “blurb” the articles of his writers – that is, to concisely synthesize in a sentence or two the key message of the article. As you can imagine, this is difficult to do, even for a professional writer or editor. But it adds clarity and purpose to the whole article, and draws the reader in spending time on the content.
We don’t need to work for ESPN to reap the benefits of blurbing. If we “blurb” the content of our meetings, we will better grasp the purpose and key outcomes of the meeting, and position ourselves to act on what we have learned or decided on. So write down in a sentence or two a synthesis of the meeting. Use active verbs. Have fun with it. And then act on that blurb, and you’ll make your meetings count.