Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meetings Summary

I started really using my work calendar this year to track all the different meetings I attend and how my time is spent. After reading Jon Petz' book Boring Meetings Suck, I have been tracking the type of meetings I attend and how my time is used.

Each week, I have taken the time to analyze the meetings I attend. I have marked notes into the meetings about the overall meeting including how information was presented, how much time allowed for interaction and the important factor of what I contributed by attending the meeting.

Not surprising is finding that over 80% of the meetings I have attended this year (fall 2011-spring 2012) have not allowed me to contribute. They are sit-n-get. Meetings where information is presented at me. Meetings that could have been a memo or an email.

I am thinking about how often people in our workplaces complain about not having enough time. And with time so valuable, how often do we really look at how we spend our time? This is just one thing I started analyzing - meetings I attend - to understand how my time is made less valuable by the amount of non-contributing meetings I attend.

And then I reflect on this book and how Mr. Petz asked the question: "who taught you how to run a meeting?". I think of this when I am the first to arrive at a meeting hosted by someone else. There is no agenda and it is literally put together as we go. I don't feel my time is used well when this happens. 

Or as information is presented at me and I am to sit there and not even be asked "what do you think?" before moving on the next list of bullet points.

I think the reason social networking has taken off so much and you see so many people on their social networks during a meeting is because we don't socialize in our meetings anymore. The one time that people are actually in a room together is the least amount of time I spend interacting with those people.

So I challenge you to read this book and let it teach you to run better meetings. Not only will it open you up to host meetings that are more engaging and creative but it will help you learn to address this issue when you attend bad meetings.

I am at the point where I am going to buy a stash of these books and start handing them out to the people who host the meetings I attend.

And I am ready to develop a Professional Development conference for Texas if anyone is interested in helping plan it. I think we all have people who need to learn to run meetings better. And I am betting this type of conference can be directed to individuals outside of the education profession.

Anyone interested in helping out? PDpalooza? ;p