Many of us have moved our meetings online. Even after lockdown, we see productivity in staying behind the computer screen and there are fewer face-to-face meetings as a result.
Zoom. Google Meet. Microsoft Teams. Use what you will, but are we at risk of adopting a new status quo that’s even worse than those endless boardroom meetings?
We have a chance to reinvent the default, to make it better. Or we can maintain the status quo. Which way will you contribute?
Rather than doing what we’ve always done in real-life (but online, and not as well), what if we did something better instead?
Here’s what we think we get from a real-life meeting:
🔸 A chance for people to come together and discuss important issues.
Here’s what we actually get:
🔸 A chance for some people to demonstrate their status and power.
🔸 A chance for most people to take notes and seek to avoid responsibility.
Real-life meetings are among the most hated part of work for the typical office worker. They last too long, happen too often and bore and annoy most of the people who attend. They can mostly be replaced by a memo (if they’re about transferring information) or they could be better run (if they’re about transforming information.)
Online meetings will lead to one of two things:
1. Just like the ones in real-life, except worse.
2. Something new and something better.
It’s worse because you can check your phone, your email and your fridge.
It’s worse because you can more clearly see the faces of people who are bored right in front of you who can’t realise you can see them.
Did you know that there’s a ‘focus’ button in Zoom and other tools that shows the organiser when people in the room have put Chrome or something else in front and are only sort-of paying attention? It’s there to ensure compliance and it’s there because we’re figuring out how to not pay attention!
It’s worse because moving to online gives up the satisfaction of the status quo, diminishes the ego satisfaction for those seeking status, and creates even more challenges with compliance, boredom and the rest.
The solution is a straightforward and non-obvious choice.
Let’s have a conversation instead.
People hate meetings but they don’t hate conversations. If you’re trapped in a room of people and the organiser says, “let’s go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves,” you know you’re in for unhappiness. That’s because no one is listening and everyone is nervously waiting for their turn to talk.
But if you’re in a conversation, you have to listen to the other person. Because if you don’t, you won’t know what to say when it’s your turn to talk.
We used to have daily online meetings and now that we’re back in the office, we have three – one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
But we’re stopping our meetings from today. Instead, on Mondays, we’ll be having a conversation around our workload for the week. On Wednesdays, we’ll be having a conversation on how we can help each other ensure we achieve what we set out to achieve on Monday. On Friday afternoons, we’ll have a conversation about our progress, and celebrate each other’s wins and support those that didn’t quite make it.
We’re sure this change in mindset will improve our work and make it more enjoyable.
Meaningful, enjoyable & engaging meetings
Having More Engaging Meetings
Perhaps you’re holding real or online meetings and not getting results or engagement. You could try only having a real-time meeting if it deserves to be a meeting.
- If you need people to read a memo, send a memo.
- If you need staff to do a set of tasks, send the tasks.
- If you want people to watch a webinar, send them the link.
Meetings and real-time engagements that are worthy of conversations are rare and magical. Use them wisely.
If you’re attending a meeting, come to it ready to have a conversation. If you need to be coerced, perhaps don’t go!
Ensure you leave the meeting having listened, and added value to others in the room. You will automatically have gotten value from it if everyone does this.
Most of us don’t have time for meetings, but we have time for conversations. Online makes it easy.
Let’s Have a Conversation Today!
I guarantee I’ll listen to your biggest roadblock right now, and if I can’t help to overcome it, I’ll find somebody who might.
Starting the conversation is as easy as clicking this link.
Calendly will link to my calendar and instantly find a time that suits all of us. It can be on the phone, on a Zoom chat, in my office, in your office, at a bar or at a coffee shop. Go on, you know you want to!
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Book a meeting with us and we will assist you with the structural design and analysis of your structure to help you produce a structure that is fit-for-purpose and capable of resisting all applied loads without failure during its intended life.
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