Was asked to come to a meeting at 9am (0900) today. Monday at 9. Full house — all but two people were on time. Meeting organizer started with a soliloquy that went something like this:”Isn’t it hard to get here at 9 o’clock? I was running behind, and ran out of the house and said, ‘Honey, you get the kids! I’ve got to go to work!’ I was able to get here on time, but maybe I should have planned another time other than first thing Monday morning.“And the response was… silence. Everyone there to hear the speech had made whatever effort they had to make and was on time. Only to hear what sounded like an excuse (but that person was on time, too). I guess I never fully got the reason for the time caveat. Which is but one reason that I’ve always said that the only person who should really be aware of time is the presenter. There just aren’t many reasons to discuss time as a presenter. Although there is/was one, and this was done by the same meeting organizer in the same meeting. The time caveat was followed by a “this meeting shouldn’t take the whole time” caveat (not a bad intro to a meeting), which was then followed by a LOT more discussion than anyone ever expected, and it quickly became obvious that the meeting would never reach its stated goals in the time allowed. At which point our time-conscious leader brought everything to a halt, stated the situation, and provided a solution. In this case, that solution was shortening the agenda and tabling the major issue to another meeting. The right thing to do. Everyone’s fears were addressed and it gave the freedom to discuss things to the depth they needed and deserved.

When the audience becomes aware of time, deal with it. But don’t bring it to their attention.

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