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The Top Five Meeting Behaviours You Want to Eradicate

Added on: 26-May-17 12:00am

Author: Stuart Waters

What frustrates you most about meetings? What are the behaviours that leave you feeling de-energised, disengaged, tearing your hair out, or grinding your teeth?

It's an important question because frustrating meetings are unproductive meetings, and unproductive meetings are budget busters and morale manglers. 

We have been looking into this lately, asking our clients about meeting behaviours. Here's what we found about the behaviours that they would most like to eradicate:

1. The talkfest: It looks like grandstanding, rabbiting on, going around in circles, veering off-topic, producing lots of unnecessary words. It's frustrating because we've heard it all before. We don't learn anything and it TAKES SO MUCH TIME!

2. Pre-baked cakes: You get this when people come in with their minds made up. They say “I know the answer and you need to agree with me”. They aren't open to other ideas and they keep banging on about their 'solution'. It is frustrating because we already know what they think and IT DOESN'T HELP!

3. Low Trust: This is a doozy. You know trust is low when folks are in fight or flight. They are either unwilling to reveal information or using it as a weapon. It is not just frustrating, it can be make you feel I NEVER WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN!

4. Low Commitment: This often looks like disengagement or avoidance of decisions. The phones come out. Distraction is high. It is frustrating because it doesn't help solve the problem and YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME AND MINE!

5. Power Games: This one is about the hierarchy, when the dominators dominate and the meek inherit all the actions; or are simply unheard. People defer to power and depart feeling undervalued and demoralised. It is frustrating because it limits new thinking and it leaves people asking WHEN DID I BECOME INVISIBLE?

That's the list suggested by our clients. What do you think? Are these behaviours you recognise in your meetings? Are there others that give you grief? Let me know because this is an area of real interest for us.

Happy meetings

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