UGH, Another Dreaded Meeting!
How many meetings do you attend a day? Too many, I assume. How many of those meetings do you actually walk away feeling a little smarter? Probably, not many. Why are they so damn boring?
Meetings are so damn boring because the meeting organizer is not prepared and he/she has invited too many people to the room. Most meetings can be done with less people and less time. Unfortunately, we like to pack a room and steal precious moments from the day. We don’t do it on purpose, but we feel the bigger the audience, the more things we can get accomplished. Just the opposite is true!
Have you ever looked around the room to see who was actually paying attention? Next time, or you are probably sitting in one right now, survey the room and take a mental note what people are doing. How many people in the room are actually on their phones, probably looking at social media or hopefully reading this post? Chances are, and sadly to say, probably half of the room is completely disinterested in what is being communicated. That’s because they shouldn’t be in the meeting and their time is being completely hijacked.
If you are anything like me, sitting in a meeting like this will make your skin crawl. You know it’s a complete waste of time and you could be doing a million other; more exciting things that actually matter to your job.
My suggestion is to avoid unproductive meetings at all costs. If you can’t get out of it or you got trapped into one, try to make the most out of your time. Remember, you can’t get that hour (or two) back again so make the time as plentiful as possible.
Couple quick and easy suggestions:
- Steer the conversation so you can actually get something accomplished. Take charge. Many times you will have the right people in the room to brainstorm and lock in decisions.
- Bring a notepad so you can develop to-do-lists. As I mentioned above, you have a million things you could be doing instead of this meeting. Prioritize so you can bang it out as soon as you wrap up.
- Strategize your life long goals. Yup, I mean day dream a bit. Visualize where you will be in five years. How will you get there? What goals do you need to accomplish?
Don’t completely check out. You will be exposed. Don’t be disrespectful but try not to get yourself invited again. Have a talk privately with the meeting organizer after the meeting. Let them know you don’t feel you have much to contribute. If it’s a regular weekly meeting, provide agenda items that the meeting organizer can add to the schedule. If the meeting was set for one hour, it’s ok to announce at the beginning of the meeting that you will politely excuse yourself at the allotted time.
Meetings have a tendency to drag on, especially when you have someone that loves to hear themselves talk. You know what I’m talking about, we all have them…The Rambler! Always remember you’re responsible for your performance, therefore spend time on what matters. Don’t get sucked in and fill your time with hot air! You have things to accomplish and these types of meetings will hold you back.