Why I Like Meetings
February 16, 2011
I’m going to take a decidedly unpopular stand.
I LIKE meetings.
There are countless articles, posts and even studies that chastise the American manager or worker who inflicts the torture of meetings on his/her team members. It’s certainly much more popular to bash meetings than to point out the benefits. And let’s face it – the jokes are pretty easy to come by – Buzz Word bingo, placing bets on how far along into the meeting Walter from IT will drift off, snickering at the frequency with which Carol from HR mispronounces “strategery.”
But meetings, those workplace institutions, CAN be of benefit. Whether strategic (occurring periodically such as monthly or quarterly), or tactical (the weekly or daily staff meeting), meetings offer much more than stale donuts and bitter coffee. A meeting, called for and run with a purpose, can provide an opportunity for engagement and collaboration. So what are some of these benefits?
- Regular meetings can build a sense of community and a shared purpose among team members.
- Meetings can provide an opportunity to generate ideas about how to deal with problems or even optimize the handling of routine, everyday situations.
- Gathering together can allow for sharing of news, upcoming events and ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal or vision.
- Meetings can allow for brief snippets of refresher training or clarification of operational items.
- Opportunities can be available for individual contributors to participate in decision making, or, at the very least, provide input on items that are generally outside of their span of control.
- Meetings can allow the team leader to continuously gage the dynamics of the team, the work groups and even the level of committment of individual team members.
So where do you fall on this spectrum and how does your workplace handle meetings? Do you have meetings to schedule meetings? Do you have daily or weekly staff meetings? Are they a boon to productivity or a colossal waste of time?
I would answer myself. But I’m off to a meeting.