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The Business Hell We Must Escape: Meetings
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RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2014 | 5:13:25 PM
Re: Start Early!
J., how old is your son? Good skills to build early...not just meeting-organizational skills but also people management skills.
J_Brandt
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J_Brandt,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 1:56:14 PM
Start Early!
I will argue there are meetings where you want to brainstorm, but they aren't status meetings.  Teaching meeting skills is almost a lost art.  I

have tried to introduce some basic meeting skills with my son and his boy scout troop (you can never start too early).  As the Senior Patrol Leader of the Patrol Leaders Council, he has four (soon to grow to 6-8) other boys he must meet with to plan and conduct the business of the troop.  I think you best point is really two in one "They come with an agenda THAT GETS DISTRIBUTED BEFORE THE PRESENTATION."  I can't tell you how many meetings I have come to that have no agenda.  Or they have an agenda and its passed out as I enter the room, allowing me no time to prepare or bring pertinent information to bear. 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2014 | 1:27:42 PM
"Team building" exercises
The most torturous meeting element to me is when you're told to break up into ad-hoc groups and come up with some imaginary business plan for a new fro-yo slash social media brand. Please, are we in kindergarten?
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 1:00:05 PM
Dilbert has nothing over real life
Bennett, I could give you a hug for that article.

They have me heading up a Sharepoint "competency group" which includes someone from Sweden and someone from China, that's it. It was suggested we have our verbal web/phone monthly meeting at 7am Central Time so the poor guy in Asia didn't have to stay until evening over there, because that's what these other CG's do.

I asked why in the world a CG on a collaboration tool has to have a verbal meeting at all. :-)  I think they got the irony so they relented on that but suggested web/verbal "kickoff meeting" might still be good to have. Sigh....

I sent a "kickoff email" instead, we'll see how that works out. :-)

 
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2014 | 11:23:00 AM
Meeting is not brainstorming
This article lays out meeting "rules of engagement" about as well as I've seen. It's so important to have a good meeting leader who can set the tone, manage the clock and only cover what is essential. When a 30-minute meeting becomes an 90-minute "brainstorming session" you're screwed. Any meeting-runner worth his salt would never let it happen.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2014 | 10:36:05 AM
Re: Discipline
My pet peeve: Unnecessarily long meetings. I agree that 30 minute i best and all should be capped at 60.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 10:07:01 AM
Discipline
I agree that meetings can be useful if they're run tightly, with a clear agenda and a clear person in charge who can kill aimless sidebars and keep the discussion moving toward an actual decision. I've been in meetings with a disciplined runner and meetings without--the difference is startling.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2014 | 9:51:51 AM
The Dreaded Status Meeting
I worked in a group where the weekly status meeting had a designated 10-minute block at the end for "moaning and whining." This was designed to keep the update portion of the meeting on track. The culture of the group was such that this technique actually worked. That messy stuff people were dying to bring up? It actually came up and got addressed. And people learned to discuss it in a concise way.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
2/11/2014 | 9:50:38 AM
Stick To An Agenda
From my experience, the first priority is to set an agenda ahead of time, preferably with input from meeting attendees, and then stick to that agenda. Then stick to that agenda. If you set a meeting for 45 minutes, no reason you can't end it in 30. 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2014 | 9:46:56 AM
meetings
One good thing I can say about meetings: they've inspired a lot of funny Dilbert strips, like these: 

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