Oh, @MeetingBoy. What an expert. After his join.me session, we were discussing one of the questions that came up: Have you ever been to a good meetings? What’s that like? It got us talking about the topic of meetings that should be banned from the office (and that’s a nice way of putting it. I am a lady, after all). Here’s his top five meetings to avoid – if you can help it.
Many meetings are ruined by people – the attendees, the meeting holder – but some meetings are just doomed no matter what.
1. Weekly Status Meeting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Status meetings should go the way of the dodo. No one can make a status meeting interesting, because the whole premise is flawed. Instead of holding status meetings, the project manager (or some poor stooge who reports to them that they delegate all their boring tasks to) should go from person to person to get their updates. Or the project manager could make each member of the team stop by their office for five minutes to catch them up. Either way, the total amount of time wasted would be greatly reduced. Do the math:
12 member team in status, each has 5 minutes of updates:
Status meeting = 12 people for 1 hour + 1 hour for project manager = 13 hours
Individual updates to project manager = 5 minutes for 12 people + 1 hour for project manager = 2 hours
Either way the project manager only spends one hour, but everyone else on the team saves 55 minutes. Why doesn’t this happen? Why?!!!!
#joinmetip: You can use join.me to collaborate quickly with other team members or project managers – without wasting anyone’s time. Time is money, people.
2. False brainstorms. These are brainstorms for projects with tiny budgets and narrow room to operate. Lately, I have these all the time. What they really want is what we did last quarter…but in green. A different shade of green. You don’t need a room full of creative people coming up with ideas when you don’t really want ideas! It’s not really a brainstorm at all.
3. Meetings to plan other meetings. Because it’s a planning meeting, people feel they don’t need an agenda, so it becomes hour after hour of flailing.
The true agenda of a meeting to plan another meeting:
- Remind everyone what a big shot they are and that their meeting is super-important. Not like all those other meetings.
- Keep people from working on other projects, making them more dependent on this one.
“Meetings to plan other meetings aren’t to make the meeting more efficient, but to prepare people for the boredom in the later meeting. It’s supposed to be a boredom vaccine.”
#joinmetip: As we like to say, get your people together without getting your people together. What does that mean? It means instantly collaborating with exactly who you need to meet with – without ever moving from your seat. Or having a “meeting” to plan other meetings.
4. All-company meetings, especially annual recap ones. The ratio of actual information dissemination to VIP preening and bragging is criminally low. In fact often the whole thing could have been accomplished with a 2-sentence email:
Raises–only 2%, bonuses canceled. Company financial health poor.
5. All other meetings*.
*except raises, bonuses
And of course this list isn’t comprehensive. I could go all day:
- Any meeting where it’s unacceptable to say “that’s what she said”.
- Any meeting where Ralph Wiggum would be in the 50th percentile.
- After a popular celebrity dies. No work will be done or discussed.
- When the boss is in a bad mood.
Although these didn’t make the top 5, can you make a case for any one of these meetings? Do you have any of your own to add?