Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings, Quicker Results, Better Relations

Why did I chose this resource?

 We hold a lot of meetings at Anant – sales, project management, client meetings, etc. Meetings can take up to 25%-50% of my activities on any given day.Capture Any improvement in the efficiency of our meetings will help save costs and make us more effective as a company.

What did you learn from it?

State your goals at the beginning of any meeting. Have a clear goal for each session and announce it at the outset in a direct, non-confrontational way. Be concise, be direct.

True listening involves hearing what was said, processing it and responding appropriately. To become a better listener in meetings, take notes. Write down everything speakers say in order to understand what they think is important, not what you think is important.

There are three types of conversational paths when talking in a meeting / with people:

  1. You respond from the other person’s point of view (“him/her”). The “him/her” path involves dealing with the other person’s past actions. Usually, you ask about the immediate past, such as “What did you mean by what you just said?” or “What led you to agree to see me today?”
  2. You respond from your own internal point of view (“me”). The “me” path means outwardly expressing what you think internally.  Tell your conversation partner what you “think, want or need.”
  3. You combine your own point of view with the other person’s point of view and respond accordingly (“him/her” plus “me” equals “us”). The “us” path involves “identifying or defining together with the other person a solution or a next step” or developing another alternative. Use the “us” path, so you and your partner can work toward a solution or take future action.

Nonverbal Communication. Your body reflects what your mind is thinking. If you do what you say and say what you do, you need never worry about unconscious behavior.

Close each meeting with another question: “What did you think of the meeting?” Use open ended questions, not “yes” or “no” questions. [NOTE: we use the Kaizen feedback.]

Key Knowledge

  • “Talk lean” by being simultaneously direct and polite.
  • Save time in meetings by announcing your goals at the beginning.
  • Business objectives are distinct from meeting objectives, which must be “measurable and/or observable at the end of the meeting.”
  • Meetings always involve what’s left unsaid that could be said and what’s said that could be phrased differently.
  • Unspoken content – in any communication – is made up of everything you and others fail to say.
  • Spoken words can be ambiguous. People may speak “incompletely, imprecisely or plain untruthfully.”
  • Become a better listener by writing down everything a speaker says during a meeting.
  • Respond to speakers from your partner’s perspective (the “him/her path”), from your own perspective (“me”) or by combining your perspective with your partner’s (“us”).
  • When in doubt, ask.
  • Do what you say and say what you do.

How are you using what you learned?

I will start setting clear and standard agendas for every internal SCRUM and/or client meeting and using that as the basis for goals of the meetings. Meeting notes are must-have for all meetings. A dedicated note taker will be assigned for every meeting.

Key Changes / Key Actions

  • Add meeting agenda to calendar invite for each meeting
  • Follow agenda, keep direct and precise
  • Ask Kaizen at end of all meetings


  • Name : Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings, Quicker Results, Better Relations
  • Author : Alan H. Palmer
  • GetAbstract :

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *