As a quasi administrator I find myself at times wondering why in the hell am I sitting in this meeting?
Who put this in my outlook and am I getting punked or something?
At most meetings I will be the one leading it and wondering the whole time, “why did we call this meeting and isnt this something that could of been handled in an email?
Then their are those meetings where someone comes in while you are frantically trying to complete a task and they start rambling on?
Just had a person walk into my room and started talking about when he was 20 and found himself attracted to a person at his workplace? Who does that. I just continued on with my work while this person talked for about 15 minutes. The whole time I am trying to figure out did I invite this conversation somehow. Why are we having this conversation? Was this scheduled therapy time? Am I getting paid for this?
There are so many times I am in a meeting wishing it was Friday afternoon and I was pulling out of the parking lot.
Then there are those meetings where you walk away more stressed than when you walked in. It isn’t like I can squeeze one more task or put one more hat on my head. Then you get the update on policy change, one more form you need to include, one more thing we…i mean you… need to be doing. At surface level it may not look like a lot. It could seem to be a small thing. But when you place it on our plate it just causes the whole damn system to fail.
It’s enough to cause me to look for the closet window and throw someone out it.
Then there is the meeting I was in yesterday. I deal with a lot of legal stuff and am constantly trying to stay up to speed on certain laws. In most of these meetings it feels like a CYA meeting. Make sure you are doing this so that we…meaning me…doesn’t get sued or fired or places the company in a spot it does not want to be in.
Its like being told the state says you are responsible for providing a specific thing. But the resources are not there or are funded so that you can supply this particular thing. When that is brought up the only thing you get is crickets and blank stares.
See how I am being cryptic and not giving specifics…yes CYA
Or in the same situation where we are told the state says you will provide this or that but when asked is there a resource for this or place we can go to get this information, and the response is…well there is the rub. You need to be extremely careful in providing this because if you do it wrong you could get into a lot of trouble.
That is an answer?
So I can get into trouble if I don’t provide this or that and I could get into trouble when I do provide this or that?
I choose to….
Yes meetings can be creative, informative, and actually fun. But most of the time I feel as though most meetings these days are built around the premise of CYA.
So What Makes for A Great Meeting
The best of them leave us focused and energized because the purpose of the meeting was clear; attendees felt engaged; and the process was smooth. Not-so-great meetings, on the other hand, drain energy, and lower morale.What Makes A Great Meeting
- The first thing is to fully understand the outcome. When I was younger, before any meeting, I always knew what the outcome of the meeting was going to be. I actually did a lot of politicking before every meeting so I understood what everyone was thinking about a particular subject. Based off that work I knew basically how the meeting was going to go. As I have gotten older and run different types of meetings I actually like the uncertainty in some cases. But, I still make sure that I have a clear understanding of why we are having the meeting and what the desired outcome should be.
- Second understand what type of meeting you are attempting have. If you break down the meetings we conduct they fall into three categories. Decision making, sharing information, and creating ideas. Where does your meeting fit and plan accordingly.
- Have an agenda present. I like agendas with time tables on specific subjects and who is leading that portion. It helps me stay focused and give the brain power needed to focus on the subject at hand. When a rabbit trail presents itself…then table either the subject or rabbit trail and do more preparation on the subject or problem presented. Don’t allow disgruntled people, or off topic conversations sabotage the agenda.
We have all been part of horrible meetings that derail and go off topic and waste a ton of time. But, we also have been part of meetings that actually helped us and allowed us to either become more creative or even productive in what we pursue.
I would much rather be part of the latter!