Businesses usually drive toward cost-effective processes and spend money on value-added services. Therefore, I find it perplexing that during my long tenure in Corporate America, businesses have neither mastered nor intentionally attempted to improve meeting efficacy. Employees complain that meetings have consumed their work day. By current statistics, middle managers spend 35% of their time in meetings and senior management upwards of 50%.
With all the experience employees have in meeting participation, one would expect them to be masters in planning and leading meetings. Instead, statistics reveal employees agree that the majority of meetings are unproductive or just plain wasteful. In laymen terms, employees are suffering from Death by Meeting. Ask yourself whether you commonly experience any of these symptoms?
- You’re more interested in reading your incoming iPhone messages than what’s being discussed in the meeting
- You plan the rest of your day in your mind or worry how you’re going to get the work piling up on your desk done while sitting in meetings
- Your thoughts speak, “This meeting is a waste of my time.”
- You question why you were invited
- You get annoyed that a few tend to monopolize the conversation or too much time is spent catching up a few late attendees
- You bring your laptop so you can get other work or personal to-dos done
- You come late to meetings and find excuses to leave early
- You avoid meetings by asking for a summary afterwards
- You know shortly into the meeting it will run over or end on time without any decision
- You routinely attend meetings with no clearly defined purpose or definite resolution so a second meeting will be scheduled to continue the discussion
- You believe an email could have handled the situation
Meetings can be a powerful internal business tool and require strategy, planning, and execution. Great meeting skills can be learned. Ask me how I can help you or your organization leverage the power of effective meetings and treat those Death by Meeting symptoms.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com