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"Do you have a few minutes?"

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Anthony Pica
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"Do you have a few minutes?"

Last week someone asked me if I had a few minutes to chat. "Sure," I said.

The call took a half hour.

Have you ever experienced this scenario? Whether it's a sales email or a message from a co-worker, it's not uncommon for people to ask, "do you have a sec to chat?"

But it's rare that the conversation only takes a few minutes. And what's the definition of a "few" minutes, anyway? (I'd say few = three)

The problem is that trust is eroded when someone says they want to talk for only "a few mins" yet the conversation takes much longer. The next time they want to discuss something, you'll probably have in the back of your mind that it's going to take double, triple, or even quadruple the amount of time.

Besides, anything that can be discussed over the phone in just a few minutes could probably be taken care of via email.

Here's an idea to consider:

Next time you want to talk with your boss, client, or colleague, ask them to chat for 12 minutes. Be specific about the duration. When your phone shows you've been in the meeting for 12 mins, say that you want to be respectful of their time and share a closing thought. You will indeed build trust and respect.

You can even take it to the next level and have the call take less time than you said it would. The other person will not only respect you for it, but it'll seem like you've given them more time back in the day. And when you want to chat again, they'll likely oblige. And I think they'll be enthusiastic about it.

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