Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings. Quicker Results. Better Relations by Alan H Palmer

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Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings. Quicker Results. Better Relations. by Alan H Palmer

Category: Business and Finance
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An efficient and effective way to run meetings. No tricks. No gimmicks. No manipulation. Honest.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: November 2013
Publisher: Capstone
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0857084972

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When I think back to my days as an employee the memory of the meetings makes me shudder. They were usually badly prepared and managed with little aim other than to tick a box so that someone could prove to his manager that he held meetings. The waste of time was on a monumental scale and I doubt that I'm alone in thinking this. Include other meetings which you have on personal matters and you'll probably agree that it's rare to emerge feeling that you've achieved what you wanted to achieve - or that you haven't been manipulated. Alan H Palmer has a plan for making meetings shorter and getting better results, but most importantly (for me) he wants you to be able to do it all openly, with no tricks, no gimmicks and complete honesty.

Palmer's basic premise is that if you ask people to do something most would prefer that they were quickly given a clear indication of what was required in a polite and friendly manner. There's no time in business for small talk and niceties but brusqueness is going to alienate the people you want onside. Talk Lean gives us a middle ground of getting done what needs to be done, in a manner which allows people to feel that they have had their views accommodated and needs met. It sounds simple - but of course it isn't.

We're taken through numerous scenarios which will be familiar to most people around the world of work:

  • You don't like the way that your new boss is managing you and you feel demotivated.
  • You spot a prospect you've been trying to contact for months - and here he is, sat at a table, on his own and just feet away from you.
  • A client asks you to do additional work at the end of an assignment. How do you approach the point of asking for an extra fee?
  • A good employee is always late for meetings. How do you change the habit?
  • You're going to have to let a customer down. How do you handle the conversation?
  • A customer is being gratuitously rude. Ignoring the remarks isn't working.
  • And then we get into personal relationships...

Palmer talks us through the scenarios but does point out that there's no guarantee that applying his principles will get the result that you want, but what I did like was that there was always an emphasis on openness and honesty, with no gimmicks and no tricks to make people do what you want them to do. You're not manipulating people, but rather bringing your view and their view together. Even if someone knows that you've read this book and are applying the principles there's never going to be that knowing snigger...

It's an easy and relatively quick read. At the beginning of each chapter you get an overview of what you will learn and then there's a summary at the end. I found that I needed to read one or two chapters more than once to get the full benefit and appreciate the nuances of how best to ask questions. As an example, think of the different responses that a chef will get if he asks the diner Was the meal OK? or What did you think of the meal? One merely asks for reassurance - the other genuinely wants feedback.

I don't do business meetings any more and I thought that reading this book would be an academic exercise and allow a few chuckles about what I'd put behind me, but it's relevant to anyone who ever attends a meeting either in a personal or a business capacity. I'm glad I read it and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you are in business and this book appeals to you then we think that you might also appreciate The Reality Test: Still Relying on Strategy? by Robert Rowland Smith.

Buy Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings. Quicker Results. Better Relations by Alan H Palmer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings. Quicker Results. Better Relations by Alan H Palmer at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings. Quicker Results. Better Relations by Alan H Palmer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Talk Lean: Shorter Meetings. Quicker Results. Better Relations by Alan H Palmer at Amazon.com.


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