Meetings are not for everyone, but might they be for you?
Leaders often decry meetings–the number, the quality, the length, the size, you name it. It’s easy and fun to bash meetings. It’s also largely safe, since the meeting or meetings are the focus of the criticism, not an individual. An article in the MIT Sloan Management Review a few years back, however, suggests that we like meetings more than we let on.
Tolerance for Unproductive Meetings is Up
The article’s authors (Steven G. Rogelberg, Cliff Scott, and John Kello) found “no direct relationship between a person’s obligation to attend meetings (the number of meetings or time spent) and his or her job satisfaction”–even though we all collectively (and leaders, in particular) spend considerably more time in meetings than we have in the past. Maybe because we spend so much time in meetings, our tolerance of unproductive meetings has gone up, along with demands for better-run meetings.
Leaders Need To Run More Effective Meetings
Leaders need to vent and laugh, and to do so at the expense of meetings isn’t the worst thing in the world. But if you want to feel better about the time you spend in meetings and wish to improve the quality of your meetings, try a different tack. Start a “Best of” list of meeting highlights (insights, strategies, ice-breakers, etc.). See what trends emerge–individuals who ought to be commended for their preparedness or insights, moderators who expertly kept the meeting on track or avoided pitfalls, strategies that generated good brainstorming or decision-making. Take note of what works so that you have fodder for better meetings, not just fodder for jokes.