Meetings. Every organization, business, club, has them. There are several kinds: the manager’s meeting, finance meeting, departmental meeting, team huddle, safety meeting, sales meeting, and IT meeting. Then my personal favorite the “communications” meeting, a meeting to discuss meeting about communications.
The following meetings are the worst in productivity and should be halted immediately:
The Convenience Meeting or the I Have to Have a Meeting. Most of the time this type of meeting is only passing out information. People leave their work which means it gets disrupted. The meeting is only providing a report, a handout, and simply giving information. No decisions are being rendered, thoughts are not sought, the consensus is not required. So quit wasting precious time and send the information out in an email.
The Formality Meeting. These are meetings that are monthly and are called because of tradition or habit or even because of an outdated policy and procedure manual. It then becomes a hassle for the meeting leader to seek out agenda items; the agenda becomes lame or unnecessary. If it is a struggle to come up with an agenda, then it is a good sign that you don’t need a meeting.
Social Meetings. It is interesting how leaders use euphemisms to hide their true intent. Collaboration meetings or alignment meetings are usually meetings where leadership is attempting to build camaraderie and connection. Camaraderie is important to the success of any organization. A social meeting that is mandatory is a poor way to foster that. The best way to foster connection is to invite colleagues to a team-building activity, a retreat, or a party. But make it an option, not a mandatory event.
Pop-Up Meetings. I liken pop-up meetings to when the weatherman reports that you may see some pop-up thunderstorms in the afternoon. While working, I decide to clear my head a bit and head to the gift shop to buy a snack. This short trek should be a ten-minute excursion at best. But I get stopped in the hallway on my way to the breakroom. It always starts out, “Hey, I’ve wanted to see you. What do you think about…” The danger then lies where the conversation may talk about confidential matters where the whole company may hear. I know of times a walk to the break room where I have been called out at least four times.
Enough of that. I quit going to the break room! Then too, I am sure people thought of me as becoming an old curmudgeon, but I would be curt and say, “Please send me an email.” Over half the conversations never evoked a follow-up message. So in conclusion, pop-up meetings are not that important.
It is simple if your meetings are productive then have them. If they are only doling out information and no discussion is necessary, stop them. You will be far more productive remaining in your office.