"My God, Get to the Point Already!"

Updated: Jan 27

Another tactic that doesn’t require any courage is to implement what I call the Gunfight Rule. Gunfighter and Marshal Wyatt Earp was asked, “How do you win a gunfight?” He replied, “Take your time, but hurry.” According to psychologist Perry Buffington, when someone corners you unexpectedly, make them uncomfortable. You do this by standing up he says. The intruder won’t sit down. Instinctively they know they’re on the clock: State their business, make it brief, move on.


If you’re shy or an introvert and it makes you uncomfortable to hurry someone up, how can you combat being Maddowed by a talking head? Pull a Helen Thomas on them. When Secretary of State Henry Kissinger tried to dodge a tough question by saying it was hard to begin to answer because time didn’t allow for a complete explanation, reporter Thomas replied, “Then start at the end.”


We kid our oldest daughter for not quickly getting to the point. She’s like a grocery shopper in the store going in with her list, only to stop at every display in the aisles to see what’s going on. She laughs and agrees. She sent us this flow chart of how a normal person tells a story, and how she tells the same story.

Another tactic that doesn’t require any courage is to implement what I call the Gunfight Rule. Gunfighter and Marshal Wyatt Earp was asked, “How do you win a gunfight?” He replied, “Take your time, but hurry.” According to psychologist Perry Buffington, when someone corners you unexpectedly, make them uncomfortable. You do this by standing up he says. The intruder won’t sit down. Instinctively they know they’re on the clock: State their business, make it brief, move on.


Other standing advantages, he says, is that you think up to 20% faster because your heartbeat increases by ten beats per minute; and you make quicker decisions.


Standing is also a good strategy when on the phone. A Los Angeles broker told me that he won’t let his people sit when they’re on the phone with clients. He said their conversations are quicker, they make faster decisions, and they close more deals.


Think of how much faster your meetings will be if you don’t allow anyone to sit and force them to stand. No longer will you go brain dead from a numb butt.