A coachee of mine has the habit to organize meetings that always end 10 minutes before the hour or half hour. However, it rarely is there to finish exactly on time. The buffer time is there to integrate a bit of small talk at the end or to be able to stop for a moment before starting the next meeting.
Whenever efficiency is being asked for, there is a good chance that meetings will blend into one another, participants will hurry to the meeting, and the meetings themselves will be rushed.
However, the way it is perceived will be different. Being busy is a status symbol in an efficient environment. The ability to make quick decisions, may it to postpone a decision or to end the conversation with a conclusion, will be seen as a contribution to necessary efficiency.
What it does is reduce the time to settle, to become attentive, to develop empathy towards the group as it is present, or to sense what the meeting is about. All of these are connected to our ability to sense our own emotions as well as those present in the room.
Emotions can’t be rushed, thinking can’t integrate them either, they need to be observed to be able to settle and disappear. But what they deliver is all the data available to describe potential disturbances to the process.
Arriving at a meeting or place where we need to be performant, requires our ability to process all the information available in the moment about ourselves, the other, and the context. That’s what arriving on time, being prepared, and settling in together are for.
Rushing serves the desire of our thinking mind to be undisturbed by anything else than itself.
However, it means to satisfy oneself with an undisturbed flow of meetings. Any lack of effectiveness easily being attributed to others or the circumstances.