Death By Meeting
Updated: Dec 29, 2019
How many times have you been advised that meetings beget the extinction of productivity? For years, I've battled the sit-down meeting as a result of this pervasive philosophy in every management book I reach for. I seemed to be sacrificing organization and communication, however, harassing staff multiple times per day as thoughts popped into my mind. I can't imagine a more disruptive work environment. I may have been missing the forest through the trees.
I breathed a sigh of relief following a podcast published by EntreLeadership, featuring an interview of the Death by Meeting author, Patrick Lencioni. His argument is that it's not the meetings themselves that are the problem, but our meeting philosophies and the subsequent atmospheres we cultivate wherein lies the true issue. The challenge is on the meeting leader, which in his opinion should be the CEO 9 times out of 10, to generate discussion, discomfort, heat, and ultimately engagement. I won't attempt to summarize much more, but would encourage everyone give it a listen.
I'm no stranger to uneasy atmospheres. My style is relatively uncensored, transparent, and riddled with emotion. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Where I struggle is with the engagement. I can often engage one or two members of the meeting, but infrequently manage to hit on a note that activates a response from the entire group.
I repeatedly revise my meeting methodology in an effort to save time and produce real discourse. Patrick's book is on its way to me as we speak, and I'm eager to apply a tactic or two during my next meeting and evaluate the outcome. I can tell you that I will make an effort to drop the guilt and the rush, instead honing in on ruffling some feathers and digging deep into the why's behind problems.
I'd love to hear about some of your favorite conversations as a staff and what lead to their manifestation.