Do an experiment. Stand in the middle of the office and announce loudly: “Meeting!” What you will hear in response: “Hurray, hurray, hurray!” or "Uuuuuuuu"?
I think I know the answer. The word “meeting” doesn’t cause anyone to be loudly delighted - on the contrary, when it is mentioned, a frustrated hum of voices is usually heard in the office. It is not surprising that meetings have such a bad reputation - after all, they often drag on for hours, without any prospects for lunch or the end of the working day (yes, even if it hurts, sometimes it doesn't even come out). Completely different people are gathering there, and it is not clear what they can confer about without being even familiar with each other. Sometimes, in the end, no one remembers how it all began and what to do in general.
However, for the management staff of the meeting is an integral part of office life, devouring the lion's share of working time. Moreover, the higher your position, the more time you will spend at such events - most businessmen spend 24 hours a day at meetings, and executive directors spend up to 60% of their time. So you can safely fill in your SMS-templates "Honey, do not wait for me, I will be late today", "Guys, put the beer in the fridge, I will not be soon" or "Going to the cinema is canceled today."
But why this happens? Shouldn't meetings be productive? After all, in theory, this should be an important conversation between people, allowing you to make a decision, come to some conclusions and solve some problems, right? Yes, it is for this meeting that they are starting up. However, there lurked a large and arrogant "BUT"! In real life, it turns out that during a meeting, people for some reason are doing anything but not a constructive solution to problems. All of these discussions of teamwork, collaboration, and brainstorming — they are, of course, enthusiastic, but when you start talking about a “meeting” where all these miracles have to happen, everything changes. Probably, meetings need to arrange a strong rebranding. Or maybe we won’t blame anyone and we confess that the people conducting or participating in the meetings are to blame?
There are such types of people who are contraindicated to appear at meetings and generally gather in groups of more than two people: these are skeptics, lazy people and clever men. In general, there are plenty of assholes in the business world: bring them together and let them catch on with their tongues - and that's it, you can safely write to get lost.
Do not be enemies to yourself - read about seven ways to fail the meeting and waste a few hours of your time, which you will never return. And promise never to do so.
1. Unnecessary scheduled meetings
An established meeting schedule is the worst that you can think of. Someone five years ago came up with holding monthly meetings "according to the results of work of some department", and you go to them as attached - every month, despite the fact that the department is no longer there or there is nothing to discuss in its work. Most often, such meaningless meetings create the appearance of work, for which everyone is always praised. Oh right, who will cancel such meetings?
2. Meeting instead of just talking
Some like to blow an elephant out of a fly and gather three dozen people to a meeting to discuss an issue that would be enough for a minute dialogue to solve. Indeed, not every question requires group discussion or brainstorming. If he can decide after half an hour playing Vasya with Sasha, then so be it. The rest is not necessary to be present at the same time. Just ask Vasya to inform you about the decision made and inform everyone you see fit.
3. Extra people
The meetings, to which everyone who is at least somehow involved in the topic under discussion is invited, are doomed to failure even before the appointment of the place and time of its holding: "Maybe Lesha will be able to add something on this issue?" or "Let's call Petya - it seems that his idea was originally from the beginning." When the list of guests swells to incredible size, you need to soberly assess the capacity of the conference room and the ability of all these people to understand each other and interact adequately. Simply put, less people - more oxygen for the brain that needs to work during the meeting. Invite only those who are really relevant and have the authority to make decisions. For the rest, make a priceless gift - a time that you will not steal from them.
4. Lack of agenda
A great way to untie all hands and tongues - let everyone discuss those issues that concern them personally. However, you can talk about it with the same success at dinner or in a smoking room. Think of an action plan in advance, and not when you go into the meeting room or dial the number for intercom. Plan which points to discuss in order to comprehensively highlight the problem, and tell everyone about your plan. So it will be much easier for you to say: "Guys, yesterday's match is a great topic for discussion, but let's postpone it until after work."
5. Lack of a secretary
You need a person who will monitor the progress of the meeting. Of course, it can be yourself, but not everyone knows how to celebrate and at the same time watch the clock and your own thought spreading along the tree. Just ask someone to keep track of the time, mark the questions arising from the audience, and prompt you that at this rate you will not have time to discuss even one of the three agenda items today. At the end of the meeting, do not forget to take stock and remind everyone who should do what.
If the meeting was scheduled for two hours, and you still continue to sit down and advise the incessant stream of latecomers at a quarter past two, then those who arrived on time will pull in the opposite direction - out the door. The best way to kill time is to “wait another minute, because Maria Petrovna was still promising, and she didn’t even call that she would be delayed.” And as soon as Maria Petrovna finally deigns to appear, repeat to her what the audience has listened to ten times already. Regardless of the reason for being late, do not allow such people to create problems for you and the rest of the audience. Well, if you are late yourself, then do not be surprised that the meeting will go awry from the very beginning.
If everyone came to the meeting with their laptops and looked at the monitors while listening to you, then ... you have a problem. The participants do not consider the meeting an important event, do not respect you or others, and you will have to repeat the same thing ten times to convey the meaning of the conversation to everyone. If you attend the meeting in person or via video link, show yourself as a successful speaker: ask the attention of the audience for a more efficient and faster meeting.
Rest assured, you will have plenty of other problems: with a misunderstanding of those present, with the inability to come to a common opinion, with a change of priorities, and perhaps even with drenching water and punching / shoeing on the table, so just try to organize a meeting correctly. And learn this quickly, until after the disappointed "Uuuuuuu" all the participants in the meeting began to quickly spread around the house or urgent meetings, just not to come to the next dull "blah blah bla" in the conference hall.