The Uselessness of Meetings

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
This won't be a very controversial topic but it is something I can't quite explain fully. Companies seem to love meetings. I don't quite understand this. It has been my experience that meetings are almost useless.

Now one of the things I strive to do in my life is not look at situations strictly from my point of view . If there is one thing I do know is that I am not the average person. For me any meeting longer than an hour makes almost no sense unless it is one of those things which is truly interactive. Most meetings consist of people talking endlessly about the same thing, things that should be covered outside the meeting, or things that could easily be learned by oneself.

I will admit that in my meetings at work I pay attention maybe 10% of the time. The other 90% I'm trying to actually get some work done. However, even though I never pay attention I seem to come out of the meeting with the same or better knowledge than most of the others. Now that can only mean that everybody is tuning out or I just learn that much better than everybody else even though I receive only 10% of the information. (I probably receive closer to 100% since like I said, meetings tend to be highly repetitive or they state the obvious like "You company should make more money").

But if the first case is true than doesn't everybody realize what a waste meetings are? If so how come we keep having them. I'm with Jenny, we should have a meeting department whose only function is to attend meetings. But then I suppose I would have to have a meeting with the meeting department to learn what they talked about.


Kat said...

we have a meeting department whose job it is to attend meetings. it's called "customer relations" and susan is the manager.

Anonymous said...

I retract my earlier "turd" comment...welcome back! - Jen