Meetings: The End of Creativity & Respect!
Okay, it’s a Monday morning rant today about meetings…specifically those meetings that someone else “calls” and you have to attend ones. I dislike them very much from “some” clients…but then relish them for others….and whats the difference?
First off, it’s the timing and showing up for me. I’m an “early bird” type of business guy – I’m early for every single event in my life. From the early morning waking up before the alarm goes off to get a “jump” on the day to sitting on the couch at 11:30 pm trying to watch the local news and still generate that web audit report or client consultation a few days early, I’m early for everything.
My dad taught me that….and I’m so proud of him for that… But at the same time, I go to arranged meetings…and all the chairs are not full of folks…some toddle in 2 minutes late…some a full half-hour late and others never even show. And that bothers me…if I respect the meeting attendants then I show up….and for those that do not give that same respect to me that I give to them – well shame on them! That tells me a lot about them…..do you agree here?
Next, it’s the meeting Agenda and as I ask every single meeting if I can get a copy of the Agenda early so I can do background work on same…and the answer is usually “not ready yet.” Which makes me feel then that the meeting planner has not yet come up with that Agenda, knows little about what their own expectations are of same nor for that matte what the deliverables and action plans (along with whom is to do what) will be. To me, in my world, that’s a recipe for a bad meeting….oh I love to sit and chat about just about anything…but if you call a meeting, then for god’s sake have some kind of an idea as to what you want the outcome to “be” and how to get there. In the legal profession, a litigator is never ever supposedly to ask a question that they do NOT already know the answer for – and that is the way I’d love for meetings to be planned and run….do you agree here?
I love spinning off on a tangent. It’s what “gets me going” from a creativity POV…but at a business meeting that I believe should never happen. The meeting chair must always stay in control, gauge the amount of “spin” to keep that control and in fact, prevent too much “tangent” from happening. I don’t need to know about your kids latest hockey game or your car’s lack of a muffler…sigh….honest, I dont!
Oh, I know…you’re going to say that some of the best ideas you’ve ever heard come from tangents that spun off the original topic…and that’s true. But that kind of a meeeting is a planned spin one….most business meetings do not need that kind of brainstorming unless the Agenda calls for it….a pre-sent Agenda that you know you will be asked for that kind of tangent spinning….so keep “creative” meetings seperate, eh!
And lastly today, I want to talk about how “long” a meeting should run – and for me a single hour is more than enough of my time to offer up to try to reach a consensus on actions for us all to undertake. Honest. A single hour. Think about that….if you try to run a meeting in a single hour, you need to keep all the meeting attendants in focus, following your planned Agenda and then assign actions or tasks to the attendants. Any more time…I’ve always said, is simply wasted time and that can surely be better invested in other business matters….respect me and the rest of the meeting attendants…to run better meetings!
Agree with me here? Wanna argue a different POV?
Then you better have some further rationale….as I figure I’ve wasted years in meetings that were simply poorly planned, poorly run and worse offered up nothing new for the business itself.
Respect us all…and you’ll see a great increase in the value of a meeting!