I Hate Meetings (pt. 1)

In my previous life, I had to take part in, or organize, a LOT of meetings. On average, I had at least two meetings a day. These meetings all tried to accomplish different things, involved different people, and created a TON of work.

That’s one thing I’ve learned about meetings: you don’t actually get anything done in a meeting. You just create more work for yourself. There’s the preparation work that needs to be done in order to get ready for a meeting, there’s the work that you promise to do after the meeting, and then there’s all the follow-up that needs to be done as you check with all the participants to make sure that they understand what they need to do. Phew. That’s one long sentence.

I remember when I first started to attend meetings for this job. I thought they’d be simple affairs where people work collaboratively for the good of the company. I anticipated that there would be some good arguments, but that what we did would end up saving all of us time and effort. I wasn’t exactly wrong, but I definitely wasn’t right.

A lot of times, participants in a meeting have their own agenda (other than the one that’s set for the meeting). Each person has something they want to accomplish as a result of the meeting, and this may or may not coincide with the intent of the meeting. It’s these preconceived ideas that people bring as ‘baggage’ into a meeting that can really slow down or derail the progress of a productive meeting. I know, since it happened to me on more than one occasion.

Hmm.. I think this post is running a bit long. I’ll continue next week with what you can do about salvaging a meeting.

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2 thoughts on “I Hate Meetings (pt. 1)

  1. My favorite part of a meeting – aside from the coffee and donuts – is getting to the action items. It’s just PM-speak, but it makes even photocopying the meeting minutes sound exciting!

  2. I agree.. meetings can seem SO useless. But there are benefits too! I think often you can understand alot from meetings about how your coworkers are. However, the biggest problem I have with meetings is that often topics get talked about for way too long and nothing gets accomplished. In a meeting in my last job, we ended up discussing what to do about some water bottles we were selling and the conversation lasted for honestly over half an hour. Who cares? I do.. why can’t we actually discuss something of importance, and maybe just maybe arrive at some conclusion about it?

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