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Friday, June 07, 2013

The Best Conference Keepsake Ever?

As I reflect on a week of great conversation at Harvard's Institute for Global Law & Policy, I cannot get over the simple beauty of the little gift to panel moderators - a spiralbound set of timecards (10,5,2,0 minutes).   We law professors like to speak too much and cannot keep track of time when we are speaking about our research.   So we go on too long and moderators refrain from intervening to stop us to avoid interrupting the flow of ideas. The time cards, along with clear instructions for moderators on how to cut people off, kept the trains on time. 

Perhaps it's the influence of my partly-Germanic husband, but for me, respecting time boundaries is one of the most crucial ways to demonstrate one’s professionalism and show respect to our colleagues.  

The most egregious violation of this for me was when I was invited to give a talk in another professor’s Corporations class.  He had opened the class to the broader population to focus on the topic of corporate gender diversity.  I shared the “panel” with another speaker.  We were told to talk for twenty minutes each and then we would have twenty minutes for Q&A.  The other speaker, who I let go first, spoke for 40 minutes.  With the hour slot at a tight 55 minutes, she left me fifteen minutes with no conversation and no questions.   So much for equality!

Do any of you have horrible stories about sloppiness with time or techniques to overcome it?  



Posted by Darren Rosenblum on June 7, 2013 at 09:52 PM | Permalink


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