Get an extra person on your team

Posted by Doc
Aug 22 2013

In my article “The Case for Masterful Meetings” (2006), I have documented that with a team of twenty people who spend an average of thirteen hours a week in meetings, just a 15 percent increase in the productivity of meetings is equivalent to adding another person to the team.

from The Secrets of Facilitation: The SMART Guide to Getting Results with Groups by Michael Wilkinson

I spend a chunk of my time in meetings. Do you? Do you find yourself doing one of the following?

  • Reading email on your phone
  • Updating your Facebook profile
  • Playing solitaire
  • Slapping yourself to stay awake
  • Thinking about how to look like you’re paying attention when your mind is doing something else altogether

Have I done those things in meetings? Of course I have.

An ineffectively run meeting is painful or boring or both. Ineffectively run meetings are the source of the moans and groans we hear whenever we talk about scheduling a meeting. The idea that a “meeting” is a forum for a lecture or a presentation is a cause for immense frustration.

Meetings should serve a purpose for all of the participants. More than that, I use the word participants deliberately, as opposed to the commonly used word attendees. A participant – well – participates. That individual is a part of the event, contributing and receiving in some balanced fashion. An attendee… attends. That individual is present. That individual may be passive, distracted, disgusted,…

Each of us has the opportunity to change this. Sometimes there are organizational or situational issues that present us, but it’s worth trying.

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