How to save your boss’s time by asking W-questions on the phone
Ist Ihr Chef oft frustriert und genervt, weil er Zeit in nutzlosen Besprechungen verschwendet? Hier lesen Sie, wie Sie durch richtiges Fragen zeitfressende, unproduktive Meetings schon im Vorfeld verhindern.
Does your boss sometimes complain that decision making meetings are ineffective? “We could have agreed on that on the phone,” or “There weren’t enough facts to make a decision,” he or she complains after returning, frustrated, from such a meeting.
You can help your boss avoid such situations by asking the right questions about the decision to be reached on the phone. When you ask these questions, you will often discover that it’s not really necessary to hold a time-consuming meeting. You may discover that there is not enough relevant information available, or it is just too early to make a decision on the subject.
Here are the four most important W-questions you should ask to find out if a decision-making meeting is necessary.
1. What exactly is the meeting about?
2. Why does a decision have to be made right now?
3. What will the consequences of this decision be?
4. What kind of information do we need to reach a decision and is this information available?
Once you have got all this information together, sort it out and ask your boss if he or she thinks the meeting is really necessary. Here are some useful phrases for getting the information you need to know.
1 What the meeting is about
- Can you tell me exactly what the meeting is about?
2 Why the decision has to be made right now
- What is the deadline for making this decision?
- Why does this have to be decided right now?
- Is there a time schedule for this?
3 What the consequences of the decision will be
- What will the consequences of this decision be?
- Are we clear about any consequences this decision will have?
4 What information is necessary
- What exactly do you want my boss to bring with her?
- Are all the figures available?
- Has everyone got the necessary documents prepared?
You may have problems getting people to adjust to this system but it has its advantages, the biggest one being that it forces decisionmakers to have any relevant information available right from the start.