What is the business practice everyone does and everyone says they hate? MEETINGS!

How often do we hear, I hate meetings? And yet, how do most leaders spend most of their time? In meetings.

Most of us accept that, as leaders, we need meetings to communicate and get things done through other people. And yet,  most leaders, say they dread attending meetings, even the ones they are leading.

As a leadership coach, I enjoy my meetings. I draw energy from the peer group meetings I lead and from the coaching sessions with my Vistage members.  Some meetings, of course, are better than others and I find value in all of them. I  enjoy the interchange, the questions, the sharing, the challenging and the learning. And, my members tell me that meetings inside their companies sometimes have these characteristics and sometimes they do not.

I am curious to hear from you. What’s working for you in meetings and what is not?

For those who hate meetings, here are my questions:

  • When you say, “I hate attending meetings” what would you rather be doing?
  • What is it about one-on-one meetings you don’t like?
  • What is it about group meetings you don’t like?

And, for those of you who like meetings and find them to be productive:

  • What is it about one-on-one meetings you like? What makes them work for you?
  • What is it about group meetings you like? What makes them work for you?

And, for those of you who want to learn more about leading productive meetings, one of my favorite books on the subject is Death by Meeting, by Patrick Lencioni.


Elisa K. Spain

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1 Comment

  • Michael Davis

    I enjoy meetings

    I think a solid agenda and meeting structure (I use Lencioni’s) will help people realize we aren’t there to waste time, we want to make progress, and we are hear to challenge each other yet walk out unified.

    Group meetings can be great, especially if you focus on listening instead of “running” the meeting. I like to challenge all members by asking what they think. Rarely are group meeting useful to make a decision because rarely is a group accountable for a decision rather a person is and they are indecisive or concerned about a decision. g

    Lastly, Have someone take meeting notes that isn’t required to participate in the meeting! A scribe is essential to making sure you are consistent meeting to meeting and I feel that meeting notes by themselves can help most tactical meetings in organizations be more effective.

    — Mike

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