It Looks Like I Don’t Know How To Do Meetings – Josh Journal
Over the last couple of months, I have been involved in more meetings than in the preceding ten years. Before you start guesstimating how much those meetings have added into my bank account, I will need you to calm down.
I am also waiting for these meetings to translate into cash. Hopefully, I don’t have to wait too long.
I should at this point confess that I don’t like meetings. Never been a fan of them, and will probably never get around to liking them.
It seems some people like, I’ll dare to say, love them. The way they are in a hurry to call for meetings, remind you about meetings, and suggest meetings, I am sometimes wondering, “are you that less busy?”
I don’t have a problem with meetings that are absolutely necessary. Better still, I am happy to participate in one, when the subject matter is tackled expediently.
To maximize the intellect and other resources of participants, include the agenda and situation report in the meeting invite.
This will help people research and brainstorm as necessary before they even show up. Focus can then be set on resolving whatever issue is at hand quickly.
Spending thirty minutes introducing people to the matter at hand, then expecting them to start dreaming up solutions is often why meetings come up with solutions that turn out to be more damaging than the original problem.
For whatever reason, I am already in this meeting where I am being blindsided with a problem. The problem has been adequately introduced and we are supposed to come up with solutions. Guess who opts to speak next?
The actor of my biggest meeting pet peeves.
Everything that has just been said, you will see someone else confidently stand up as if to proffer a solution.
Instead, they will go on to restate everything the last speaker just said. Except in a more fanciful rendition.
Some people do the same with suggestions and responses too. My question is why?
Was that really necessary? Did we complain to you that we didn’t hear the last speaker?
More importantly, how come everyone conveniently sits through a rehashing of what they just heard? Do we all have this much time to spare?
I don’t know if this is a sign of civility or humility, and I don’t know if I am lacking in these, but I know I find these long and unnecessary talks to be torturous.
Maybe I’m not yet mature or “adult” enough to sit through things I don’t like.
Sorry, is that part of “adulting”?
Another part of meetings I don’t like is the talking in circles.
Someone who has nothing to say would open his mouth and speak splendidly about absolutely nothing. They will talk for ten minutes, and if you are asked to summarize what they just said, you will have nothing to say.
Because they said nothing.
If you have nothing to say, why speak at all? Why not keep quiet and listen to others speak instead.
And what is with “Mr. Jack just said what I wanted to say”? Or, “As Mrs. Jill rightly said”?
If someone has already said what you have to say, kindly keep quiet. Let someone who has a new perspective and insight speak instead.
We will get to a solution faster if only those who have something new to say get to speak. That means we’ll be done with this meeting faster too.
Why are you hell-bent on delaying us instead?
The final category of people who make me dislike meetings is those who purposely derail and delay meetings.
Sometimes, I think they know they are annoying, but they enjoy being annoying. Why else would they try to keep us here for an extra thirty minutes just by bringing up another off-topic?
I hope this isn’t rude to ask, when is it right to tell someone that they are talking nonsense in a meeting?
It has taken a lot of self-control to stop me from cutting some people off in meetings. Does that mean I am finally doing meetings right?