10 biggest issues of meetings
Want a smooth work life, a few tools to help you out
Do you believe you are running in circles and going nowhere?
- To argue a point by repetition of the same theme, sometimes by using different words, but without making any progress
Yes, broadening the scope of the conversation or the main topic. Giving endless examples. Doing super long sentences where you don’t remember where it started and how it ends. Or getting stuck on one point and no one has a solution.
We have all been there, seen it and the sad truth is: one of the participants wants to impose his view or decision by killing you of boredom.
– Remind people of the time (harder if they are higher in the food chain)
– Postpone the conversation and ask for a separate meeting
– Play the active listening card. Rephrase what they said and ask a question, push an argument redirecting to the main topic
Are the topics of the meeting valuable enough to require an encounter?
Can you send an email instead?
Do you require information that is far fetched enough that cannot be summarized in a meeting?
Do you require buy-in, multiple decision-makers or one decision makers who need to have a detailed overview before saying yes?
Is it time-sensitive?
Meetings with no outcome
You have meet, you have discussed, 1, 2 , 3 hours have passed and your only thought is ; it was a all of nothing. Spending so much time and have no progress at the end this is just ridiculous. You have wasted half your day and now you are late on your real work…
This should be criminalized. A few ways to9 spot you need to avoir at all cost a given meeting:
- Non recurring , last minute invite with a title like: “kick-off for the 4th quarter”
- Meeting lenght 2H, The adults have an average attention span of 10 to 20 mins
- Meetings with no Agenda
- Ok so no preparation and going to a meeting I have no idea what is going to happen
- The meeting is end of day. Except if your boos or the boss of your boss calls it and you are not in crisis mode. avoir at all cost you will be there until 7 PM
- No action items are decided
- No follow up meeting date is set
Your meeting is silent
It doesn’t apply to presentations or sales demo. Also, silence is not always a bad thing in sales.
But in most cases where there are multiple participants (three or more) and you are supposed to have an open conversation and no one talks, that is where you have an issue.
The below doesn’t need to be done in a passive-aggressive fashion or sarcastic way.
– Call out people who are supposed to answer. ” Hey join, as you are in charge of XYZ, would you have thoughts on topic ABC”
– Ensure you have the right speed and pace, not too fast or people will not have the chance to think and not too slow where you will end up with dead portions of the meetings and people’s brains will go to sleep.
– Identify key social animals who love to talk and ask them if they do have ideas, comments questions. Even if they provide 0 value they will fill in the blank and maybe trigger someone to say something.
- Don’t be late to a meeting and if you are, say so, no one will ever tell you, “you are fired because you are 5 min late and you told me about it”
- Don’t eat, or in general please, please, please avoid chewing noises. And the usual products that make noise. And the food that smells.
- In other words: eating should be done during eating time. Meetings are not one of them
- Acceptable: water, coffee, tea, DONE!
- Don’t cut off people, this is rude. Signal to the meeting owner that you have a point and when the times come he will give you a chance to express yourself.
- Don’t hijack the meeting. It’s a meeting if people are in the same room it is because they have something to bring to the conversation.
- Don’t check your phone, manage your emails on your computer or have fun with your neighbors. Again this is rude and distracting.
- If you have to leave before the end, signal the meeting owner at the beginning of the meeting when you will leave
- Know where to seat. A genius article on the matter https://www.scienceofpeople.com/seating-arrangement/
- Use humour and jokes with parcimony. To be on the safe side do it at the beginning before everyone has arrived or at the end when everyone is up and ready to leave the room. AVOID at all cost during the meeting as it is more distracting then anything else
And you are done!
The good news is getapy as streamlined and automated most of the above and updates all the tools you use!