Meetings can be exciting, informative and helpful – yet many are still the polar opposite. We’ve been there and know you have.
Here’s our minute-by-minute guide to realising you’re not in a useful meeting…
Minutes 0-10: Hope
You were promised it’d be different this time. “We’re going to cover some serious ground and bash out a few new ideas”, the email promised. And so you turn up ready and raring to go. You’ve even downloaded all your ideas onto your tablet and have set it up so you can synch and share these amazing insights with your colleagues. This is going to be the meeting to end all meetings.
Minute 11: Realisation
The first 10 minutes have passed and not only has no one asked to synch their tablets with yours, but no one has brought tablets. Or asked you about your ideas yet. All they’ve talked about is what they did at the weekend and how bad the coffee is.
But you held on, hoping once the small talk died down they’d get down to business – which they did. Apparently this just means asking how everyone’s workload is. This is not the meeting of ideas you’d hoped for; it’s just another perfunctory get-together so everyone can say what they’ve done and make them feel like they’re all working towards a joint goal.
Minutes 12-15: Annoyance
As your colleagues discuss inane and pointless aspects of their work such as why they can’t access Facebook, can they claim petrol as an expense and when are the new bathrooms going to be finished, your annoyance level rises as you flick through your pages of ideas.
At one point you even suggest a change of topic, trying to get the meeting moving forward, but someone talks over you. Leading to…
Minutes 15-20: Anger
You can barely contain your rage. You’re wasting an hour of your time in this meeting. It’s not just the wasted time when you could be doing actual productive things that makes you angry, but also the fact that no one else seems to care or notice.
You want to bang your fists on the desk and scream, ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore’.
Minutes 20-30: Despair
You start to wonder why your colleagues aren’t as angry as you, and you wonder if they just don’t care.
Despair hits you as you start to imagine that no one cares as much as you do. As the despair sets in you start to delete your ideas one by one. Someone asks you something but you can’t hear them anymore.
Minutes 30-60: Happiness
You’ve mentally left the room. You’ve realised no one will ask you anything you can’t answer with a nod of the head so you let your mind drift to a better place.
Firstly, you start to re-work the ideas you’ve just deleted until they’re all perfect. You’ll email them around after the meeting – no one will read them but at least you’ll have tried.
After that, you plan your week, giving everything a time slot. You work out you can still get all your work done even if you have one of these meetings every day. It’s a nice feeling.
Posted by Julie Tucker