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    #1

    fix as few dates as you can

    I don't understand the following in bold. Could you paraphrase it in easier English?

    If you have a very busy and widely distributed team, you may have to fix regular meetings far in advance, otherwise it may be impossible to find dates that everyone can make at short notice. This is the case in my team, where consultants may have part of their diaries booked as much as 12 months ahead. The trick then is to fix as few dates as you can to ensure that there is always enough to discuss, and not to be afraid to cancel the meeting if there's not enough value in running it.

    Thank you.


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    #2

    Re: fix as few dates as you can

    It means that you should schedule meetings less frequently so that there will be a lot to talk about when you do have a meeting.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: fix as few dates as you can



    What makes the final sentence hard to understand is that it uses the idiomatic expression 'the trick is to <verb>' [which means 'What you should do if you want to get the best results, is to ....'], and makes it even more confusing by introducing the rather formally placed 'then' into it. That sort of 'then' is typically used for literary or rhetorical effect. Here's an example from Thomas Payne (The Rights of Man, I think):
    Lay, then, the axe to the root...
    ... or, to give a more recent example (off the top of my head) 'What, then, should we do?'

    'The trick is to...' idiom doesn't seem - at first glance - to make a lot of sense; but imagine it from the point of view of someone who hasn't learnt the trick yet:

    'I've been watching you for a long time, but something always goes wrong for me whenever I try to do the same thing. You must be doing something special - what's the trick?'

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 12-Dec-2007 at 15:25.

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    #4

    Re: fix as few dates as you can

    It's been very useful explanation.

    Thank you all.

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