3D Juggling 657: Time

Claire writes: ‘So you have a limited time and a colleague wants help thinking something through.  Do you tell them? Or do you leave them unclear about whether or not you might just need to rush away.  In that context, saying ‘I have 5 minutes – what would be useful for us to do now?’ can be received as very supportive – and may mean that not every conversation needs to reappear as a 1-1 in your diaries later on.

We notice that asking the time question second in a conversation really helps focus on what’s useful to talk about.  Notice the difference between what seems natural:

A: We have half an hour – what do we need to talk about?
B: I want to talk about changing the world
A: What have you done already?
… 25 minutes later… you’re still talking about what’s been done…

And changing the order:

A: What do we need to talk about today?
B: I want to talk about changing the world
A: Given that we have half an hour, what part of changing the world would it be useful to focus on?
B: SILENCE – actually what I need from you today is…

This is a great tool in any conversation, not just coaching.

Principle 1: Contract for time as well as subject

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