Conventional wisdom claims that everyone hates meetings. I have posted several tips and tools about conducting more effective meetings to help us try to eliminate unnecessary meetings.
Even with the many articles, courses and training workshops, teams still claim that they are required to attend and participate in meetings that are too long, pointless and unnecessary.
Those of us who study and research meeting behaviors, must be missing something. While reviewing some archived materials that I have saved from the Harvard Business Review (HBR), I discovered an article entitled, Why We Secretly Love Meetings.
If you would like to, you can read the original article here. However, here is my take on the article.
- Secretly, some managers and team leaders like meetings. That is why “meetings” probably continue to proliferate and thrive. So, those who like meetings and those who loathe meetings are not working toward the same goal.
- Meetings may be considered as social events. Team members may claim they don’t like meetings, but at the same time, they don’t like working alone and meetings provide an opportunity for convenient social interactions. As the HBR article says: “Some of the seemingly off-target chatter in meetings (even the complaining) is actually the realization of an important social outlet.”
- Meetings tend to keep team members in the loop. Meetings help people across the team or organization stay connected and better informed. As the HBR says, “meetings serve as the informal loom that weaves together the organizational threads.”
- Meeting may be considered as status symbols. Membership on committees or teams generally mean that your opinion is valued, which attests to a certain status within the organization. They also offer an enhanced opportunities for visibility within the organization and at times outside the organization.
So in summary, team members may dismiss the value and necessity of meetings, but they may surreptitiously bask in and enjoy their perceived status.
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