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Meetings are often tortuous affairs. How often I’ve been in a room with a bunch of people with no agenda, no chair, no theme, no notetaker, lots of distractions (worst being powerpoint, laptops and phones) and no concrete follow-up. Whilst I’m guilty as charged with contributing to some of these time-wasting events I’m very conscious of how demoralising they can be if they interupt the flow of creative people.
I’ve made it known to colleagues that I haven’t much patience to sit in a room where much of the above is going on. As a consequence I try to avoid meetings altogether unless they have a distinct outcome required (ie decisions). In contrast, when working with teams closely on a daily basis, we seldom need to get together for a meeting unless there’s a specific requirement – collaboratively devising a plan or strategy, reviewing progress against a plan or letting loose and jamming to create ideas.
Over the years I’ve found that bursts of highly focused activity with all necessary collaborators around a whiteboard are far more productive than process-driven meetings. For those relationships where conversations to discuss progress are required, quick 15 minute catch-ups by conference call suffice. My synopsis is that how you interact directly impacts your personal productivity, overall enjoyment and has a direct bearing on the quality of what you’re likely to produce.
Avoid falling asleep with more effective facilitation – toptips from 43Folders on more effective meetings.