Too Many Meetings

“Boredom is a compromise between desire and fear.”
A professional whom I very much respect and trust made the above statement in a recent discussion. We were talking about the endless number of meetings that populate the calendars of technical professionals these days.

Indeed, in my experience, the number of ineffective meetings that land on calendars is a persistent and pervasive inhibitor to high performance.

I sit through any number of management meetings in a given month in my role as consultant. I repeatedly observe first-hand the all too evident behavioral signals of impatience, frustration, and boredom. “Why am I in this meeting?” the body language so readily communicates.

A column in last Sunday’s NYT “Another Meeting? Say It Isn’t So?” offers some tips for dealing with meetings run amok. There’s nothing profoundly new here, but I find that it’s meeting basics that even the most senior leaders need to be reminded of again and again (e.g. be clear what kind of decision you are asking for, if any, and who’s making it).

Next time you’re sitting through yet another “boring” meeting, you might ask yourself these two questions: “What is it that I desire?” “What is it that I fear?” Maybe what you attribute to boredom will be transformed to … what?? Try it.