Meetings are still difficult

This year the number of meetings at work exploded, and I am not exaggerating. I have worked for the same team for over 7 years, until earlier this year when I was transferred to a newly formed team. My responsibilities haven’t changed much, but the number of meetings increased substantially, mostly due to the re-org.

An increase in meetings is expected during this type of transition, there is a newly formed team, new projects, and new ideas, and since everyone works remotely, an increase in the number of meetings makes sense. We all need to be “on the same page.”

I have shared my feelings about meetings in the past, and my opinion is that meetings are essential, but they can be a total waste of time if we are not careful about how to spend our time in these meetings. Having a good meeting is not easy.

The new team at work is great, but it will take time to adjust to the new way of working, thinking, etc. It’s fine. Change is almost always good.

Meetings are needed, but they can be easily abused, and if this happens, everyone’s productivity is affected. Having all meetings online hasn’t helped the issue. If anything, it has made things much worse. People get distracted by other participants’ videos, sound issues, screen-sharing issues, and just now knowing the video tool enough to be proficient with it. All that, in addition to the issues of meetings in general.

I am trying different things, staying quiet until my input is needed, not sharing my video, sharing it, acting as a moderator, and avoiding meetings when I believe my presence isn’t needed. Every time I am in a meeting, I try to stay focused and aware of the goal of the meeting – but this isn’t always easy!

Small-groups as the antidote to bad meetings

small-groups antidote for bad meetingsBad meetings, meetings from hell, or whatever you want to call them, we’ve all experienced those and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you experience bad meetings in a daily basis. While there are endless tips, blog posts and even books about how to have good meetings and ways to avoid meetings from hell, none of the advice seems to fix the underlying issue. Most people who attend meetings don’t need to be there. If you look at most articles about making your meetings more successful and productive, they tell you to have an agenda, to have a clear objective, to use time wisely, to store distractions in a “parking lot”, to have shorter meetings, etc… However, the reason we have to do all of those things is because in most meetings, you have people who are not supposed to be there, people who don’t bring any value to the meeting, and people who either don’t have interest in the topic being discussed or the knowledge to help and contribute to the meeting. Continue reading →