I always wondered how people master the skill of availing time… but conditionally!. True, especially if you know that the condition from getting time from someone is actually the presence of their desire and clear benefits!
I’ve done a ton of meetings wearing different hats: client, vendor, service provider, … and I’ve been calling or being called for meetings. I guess everyone would do, as meetings (effective ones of course) are crucial to running business and execution. During these meetings you hunt for time amongst different parties, and to be able to avail time is to have the desire for it!
To simplify, take two personas when calling for a meeting: 1) one who have a benefit of conducting this meeting and hence has the desire, and 2) a person who is being pushed for that without a clear objective or benefit. I will call the first a seeker, and the second a dragger. The seeker would be willing to avail the time for meeting or any other activity even with the busiest schedule. This is supported by the fact that he understands the objective of availing that time, and have the desire to work with you to achieve a mutual benefit. On the other hand, a dragger would find a thousand excuses to escape from meeting you, simply because he doesn’t see the benefit of doing so, or would like to spend his time on something he believes would have better return on investment.
We all know that this has a lot to do with time management, and I would like to pinpoint the fact that whether you are a master of your own time or not, you still have free time to avail… it’s not really rocket science. If you cannot make that time available, then you need to question your desire of putting that time with someone. This is because the minute you get that willingness, magic starts to discover a lot of slots in your schedule.
By the way, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a seeker and a dragger as well, and I’m not saying that being a dragger is a bad thing. I’m highlighting the behind-the-scenes facts to make sure of two things:
- Try to highlight the value and benefits whenever you hunt for someone else’s time.
- Question your willingness of securing time for others if you feel not willing to avail it.
The first will help a seeker transform a dragger into another seeker to move on with business (or personal matters). The second will help you verify your position and priorities, and can change you from a dragger to a seeker.
In summary, be a die-hard for shared value when asking for others’ time. Be a die-hard for availing time for the most important people or objectives in your life.