Three Tips for Having a Short Meeting with Your Boss

What factors are important in having a short meeting?



Short meetings must have a strategy





If you only had thirty seconds to promote your value as a staff member what would you say?  How would you conduct a short impromptu meeting?  What thought have you given to this question? 

Many times we engage in unscheduled professional and personal conversations.  An unscheduled meeting with your supervisor should not be that type of meeting.  Primarily because both you, and your boss, are usually working with limited time.  No doubt you both have other planned activities and events which need your attention. So what is the outline for a brief meeting with your boss?  You should ask closed ended questions, be brief and  illustrate the “big picture” and communicate facts..

Normally, during an information gathering process, you would not ask “closed ended” questions but remember you are not gathering information.  The first questions should be, at the point of interruption, “do you have time?”. The question should specifically state how much time you need.  These impromptu meetings should last between two and five minutes.   Just a note, research shows that if you ask for three minutes you mostly likely won’t keep your promise (McClish 2014).  Whatever amount of time you request stay within your time constraints and be brief.

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Be aware of time during short meetings

During personal or professional conversations one of the most annoying traits of a speaker is to repeat previously given information.  Remember, your listener probably heard you twice the first time, no need to be repetitious.  An asset to brevity is to simply give needed, or requested, facts during this conversation.



Finally, you want to give a big picture overview and only the needed facts.  If your boss wants more information (the detailed story) she will either, ask for more information or invite you to stay longer.  Prior to requesting the meeting, you should have thought about the context and content of the meeting.

You should have also created a mental outline of the conversation.  A useful tool for this interaction is the SCAR (Situation, Context, Action, Results) technique.  Be ready to give the situation, the context around the situation, and any actions that you are expecting to take.  If necessary (or of asked) also be ready to give the expected results from the action.



Prior to your next unscheduled conversation with your leader complete the following:  (1) Determine the exact amount of time for your impromptu conversation, (2)  Create a mental Outline of Your Conversation, and (3)  Relay that Outline using the SCAR technique


Hello, my name is Eric Brown and I am a small business, executive and leadership coach. ​I work with individuals and groups to strengthen their leadership, technical,and managerial skills. I will enable you to achieve your desired success in the workplace and life.

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