Stop And Reflect
– Act with Awareness
One good question and one good answer are services to all. A sure sign of a troubled company is one where employees don’t care enough to ask and, if that’s the case, they’ll never care enough to fully deploy their talent.
– Ricardo Semler
In a Nutshell
Meetings are the bane of any corporate structure. Necessary for the company to function, but often run badly, they are the butt of corporate jokes. Anybody familiar with America’s favourite comic, Dilbert?
As with any tool, meetings can be effective if executed well. Yet, meetings are often scheduled without much thought given to their process. The rise in popularity of remote working has forced meetings to be subject to critical analysis and there are many articles on running effective meetings. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all technique. Conduct of meetings can vary depending on the team size, the attendees and the content. Feedback about ineffective meetings happens too late, or worse, never at all. Attendees are unlikely to ever interrupt an unproductive meeting as it is awkward or they fear offending colleagues.
So, why not build in a reflective mechanism that grants you permission to evaluate meetings while they are happening? Taking a timeout to reflect on the meeting process when one agenda item dominates the meeting or, when discussions turn unnecessarily hostile, is a useful way to save an unproductive meeting. Besides, it also ensures that everyone can still walk away cordially.