good meetings vs bad meetings
Don't be afraid to ask for help or feedback from colleagues. You know when the conversation is finished — it’s when you’ve answered the question. Find all the info you need to hold effortlessly productive online meetings, as well as other tips, from the team at GoToMeeting. But if workers and managers alike feel put upon by meetings, experts say it’s not meetings per se that are the culprit. Says Rothbard: “The only thing you can’t do is kick the person under the table.”, Workers will go to great length to avoid meetings, and to convince their bosses that they are a waste of time and money. If bad meetings happen because people choose to run bad meetings, it means that people could make a different choice. Drawing attention away from the flaws is the key to looking your best. There are good meetings and there are bad meetings. In a recent study conducted by WhenIsGood, the company found that a majority of their respondents accepted Tuesday at 3PM meeting times. It's a hodgepodge mix of people and everyone respects each other. Could you prepare for that?". “Do you really think that 15% of your time — if administered with real clarity, solving problems that are preventing the organization from succeeding — that anyone would say that’s not worth it?”, Schwarz notes that “people hate going to meetings and find all sorts of creative ways of avoiding them.” And yet, he says, there is a series of remedies — starting with “really asking the most fundamental question, which is, ‘What does this group have to meet about?’ A lot of times people find themselves in a room where they are not interdependent with the other people around the task, and that is the first sign that you are about to not use your time well and, for that matter, not use other peoples’ time well.”, “Face-to-face you get the richest communication — you read body language, you learn much more and faster.”–Matthew Bidwell, Once you have the right people in the room, the next question is: What is the purpose of the meeting? Sign up for the weekly Knowledge@Wharton e-mail newsletter, offering business leaders cutting-edge research and ideas from Wharton faculty and other experts. One is to make a decision or have a discussion that will lead to a decision. Additionally, if your discussion items reflect the thoughts of your staff, they are more likely to be engaged. If you're merely suggesting a plan, you will probably find yourself saying things like, "I'm thinking about discussing this topic at the next meeting. If you want a simple, private, straightforward way to quickly jump on a meeting with 10 colleagues or 6 friends, use Google Meet. Zoom Is Best for Large Scale Meetings Zoom If anybody has a claim on the role of meeting scientist, it’s Rogelberg. On the other hand, you're not going to move a mountain in one meeting. Effective ones leave you energized and feeling that you've really accomplished something. Phone calls are great and convenient, however without discipline they can be wildly ineffective. Exceeding expectations is better. Even the best laptops can be saddled with lousy cameras. People are twisting themselves into pretzels for a time slot that works for a global team.”, Technology is, she continues, a double-edged sword. Is their input needed? “Because the amount of information flying at people is going to distract them and get them off track,” says Lencioni. Never hold a meeting unless you know what result you want out of the meeting. "Opening up the floor" can sometimes lead to off-topic conversations that have nothing to do with the subject at hand. “That may sound pretty obvious,” notes Lencioni, “but it’s amazing how many times people come together and are not really clear about the purpose. In the act-out category is people acting ways that are ineffective. Here are some real-world examples direct from a local boardroom during a meeting about meetings. By giving people a time frame, people will have to consider what information to add and more importantly what information to not add. However, it is possible to put. Things to do: Eliminate recurring meetings … Meetings should be intense. It is time for Parent Teacher Meeting! While working for a large bank, I had over 36 hours of meetings scheduled in a single week. Good or excellent meetings outnumber bad ones by about 99 to 1 -- no matter where you are. Good minutes help everyone remember what was said, track any decisions, and clarify action items. “Standing up and checking in with each other saves so much time and energy,” he says. You don't hear too many people complaining about meetings that went too short, which means there really is no such thing as "not enough." Wharton management professor Nancy Rothbard says that if we are meeting more often than ever, it may be because we are now so busy we have to schedule time to simply think. Meetings should be intense. Getting off topic is easy when there are multiple people trying to communicate with one another — especially with a remote team and video conferencing software. All rights reserved. It must be taken into account the number of man hours involved in each meeting. Rather than putting, say, “space allocation” in the subject line of an email, it is more helpful to frame the issue as a question — something like, “How are we going to allocate space on our floor given the new hires?” That way, “people can come to the meeting having thought about the question, and they can figure out during the conversation how to contribute in a way that’s on track. Remember to identify who needs to be at the meeting, who is doing what (speakers, presenters, etc. When you meet face-to-face is when work tends to get done. “Meetings have been a big part of organizational life for a long time,” he says. thought into a meeting, at which point you can't expect it to be productive. Teams Calling in Edge. Effective meetings are relevant and engaging. Seeking input from team members is a wise thing to do. Look back on past meetings to see what worked and what didn't. I’m telling you, bad meetings are Soylent Green. In most cases, it should not contain more than five topics. The challenging part is that the difference between a good and a bad meeting agenda can be very subtle. However, it is possible to put not enough thought into a meeting, at which point you can't expect it to be productive. Good minutes vs. bad minutes. In other words, it’s impossible to get a good outcome if you don’t know what the outcome you want is. Learn more about virtual meetings here.. If you go into a meeting without having a clear direction, it's just going to end up wasting everyone's time. I hate bad meetings. And this app makes it clear how costly meetings can be,” says the sales blurb. Could you prepare for that? David Grady has some ideas on how to stop it. “And so people look at meetings with an eye toward, ‘Is this is a good use of my time?’ It’s a reasonable question to ask, and for a lot of people the answer is no.”, Rothbard says two factors might be contributing to an increase in meetings: globalization, and the jobs themselves. Anyone should be able to get the gist in a few minutes. Here are some common ways good meetings can go bad, and how you should handle them: Problem: Getting off Track While an icebreaker conversation about the past weekend or the big game last night is encouraged to get your meeting started off, it’s important to stay on track and on task to make the most of everyone’s time. All materials copyright of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Another meeting-filled day? ", It's a good thing to put some thought into your agenda, as well as encourage your team members to prepare for the upcoming meeting. Ineffective, unproductive or simply “bad” committee meetings are very easy to recognise because they have some or all of the following characteristics: they feel like the meeting goes forever but nothing was actually achieved conversations drag on, bouncing from one point to another with little focus on the issue to be discussed conflict occurs regularly […] As someone who has hosted meetings about planning meetings, here are a few things to consider when organizing your own. Asking for Feedback vs. Here are the five of the most common problems with […] By 1973, the number had doubled, according to results of a study by P.L. Jason Shah is the founder and CEO of Do, a collaboration platform that helps you run productive meetings. Bad meetings can happen to good people. I've been sober for 11 years, when I was 5 years sober I moved to the Mid Atlantic from the West Coast. Why would they prepare if they're uncertain? Today is National Voter Registration Day! This is good news! As such, minutes should be concise and clear. The challenging part is that the difference between a good and a bad meeting agenda can be very subtle. Source: Giphy. Managing meetings in Notejoy is different for three reasons: Real-Time Collaboration - As a cloud-based solution, Notejoy allows you to share your meeting agenda in advance with internal and external collaborators. The problem is bad meetings. "Opening up the floor" can sometimes lead to off-topic conversations that have nothing to do with the subject at hand. Meetings -- the good and the bad by Toni Bowers in Career Management , in Software on January 4, 2009, 9:19 PM PST Meetings are only a problem if they're not managed properly. Why your MacBook webcam looks bad in Zoom meetings and how to fix it. Stage your video area. “It’s enabling us to actually reach the best people and allowing things to happen that could not happen before, but it is potentially making things more burdensome from a process standpoint.”, Bidwell — who admits that his heart often sinks when he sees a meeting on his calendar, particularly a large meeting — says that meetings can feel burdensome, “because they don’t feel like proper work,” but in fact, they are. Make sure your talking points are as actionable as possible. It never ceases to shock me when I attend a meeting out to find out halfway into it that the organizers have no agenda and, by the end of it, have reached resolution on absolutely nothing. Taking Phone Calls – I can’t believe this one has to be said. If ‘meeting’ were commonly thought of as short for ‘meeting of minds’ that would probably solve a lot of problems. “We’re so busy that we just don’t prepare, and when we don’t prepare there is a lot of wasted time. Seeking Team Input Versus Building Your Meeting Around Team Input. However, the meetings aren't scheduled in a single back to back four hour block, but are scheduled every other hour: 9am, 11am, 2pm, and 4pm all in different areas of the building. “Work is becoming more complex and interdependent,” she notes. “We’re not meeting with the person down the hall; this is not necessarily the person who has the expertise we require,” Rothbard says. First, most meetings are completely unnecessary, and many could be replaced with an email. '”, If done right, Lencioni says, all these meetings combined should take up no more than 15% of staff time. If you're merely suggesting a plan, you will probably find yourself saying things like, "I'm, about discussing this topic at the next meeting. Why would they prepare if they're uncertain? Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. If they just don’t want to be there, that is a performance issue. Zoom Is Best for Large Scale Meetings Zoom “When people have these misunderstandings they can blow up, and that’s when you get email flaming, or people sending email back and forth and nothing is getting resolved.” With each step removed from face-to-face communication, something gets lost. Each meeting should have an agenda, created by the meeting leader and sent out at least 24 hours beforehand. Meanwhile, if you're asking for feedback, it's more apparent that you're looking for ideas or suggestions based on the things you just covered. Every other hour you'll need ten minutes to get to and from each meeting, including packing up your laptop, grabbing your phone, maybe stopping at the bathroom or refilling coffee. “It takes a really good meeting to be better than no meeting at all. That’s not to say that every meeting ever held has been a waste of time. But such meetings, as most project managers know from first-hand experience, can easily spiral into inefficient and unproductive encounters that produce only inter-team conflicts. Otherwise, you end up in a back-and-forth discussion that is based on opinions. An epidemic of bad, inefficient, overcrowded meetings is plaguing the world’s businesses — and making workers miserable. "Making time for personal connections in remote meetings not only feels good, it helps you work better together," said Yorke. “Meetings are the linchpin of everything,” says Lencioni. ... it’s a good idea to stick around until everyone else closes out of the meeting. A good meeting is about connecting minds and ideas, and face-to-face is ultimately the best way to make that happen. Teams meeting in Edge . These collaborators can view, discuss, and comment on meeting agendas as well as view the latest version. Despite all of the technology out there, the table is still the most important piece of technology.”. Does the subject matter need to be filed away for later? If the audio quality of your meetings still isn't up to par, you have a couple other options. Set objectives for the meeting! And it’s very hard to create a strategy based on opinions. That simple technique can be very powerful.”, Rothbard says preparation before a meeting is key — preparation by everyone attending. If you have no idea how good/bad the microphone on your laptop is, it is highly recommended that you test the microphone first before you get started with video meetings in Zoom. With regards to Zoom meetings, you can decrease the “boringness” of your meeting by increasing the lighting. That's how David Grady begins his hilarious six-minute TED Talk, "How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings," which has now been viewed over 1.5 million times. Peter Drucker “ Meeting expectations is good. Again, I emphasize: it’s free and is one or two clicks away from being used. The first is a once-a-day meeting for five or 10 minutes. There is a general perception of a speed-up in the workplace — that workers are just busier, and that tools like email, Google Docs and instant messaging can get the job done more quickly and efficiently than meetings. That's how David Grady begins his hilarious six-minute TED Talk, "How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings," which has now been viewed over 1.5 million times. “the biggest benefit of having a good meeting is not having a bad one — because the negative effects of bad meetings on employee satisfaction, team productivity, and company performance are much more dramatic than the positive impact of good sessions.” Questions for reflection: They interrupt flow, and pop up unbidden on your iCal. In fact, meeting-weary workers are nothing new, says Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell. “And so having good meetings and getting them to resolve issues is more important than ever. Zoom meeting etiquette: 15 tips and best practices for online video conference meetings. It may be a subtle difference, but it can be a meeting killer. There’s not much else to say when it comes to Google Meet, and that’s not a bad thing. Deciding on a Course of Action vs. Just Discussing a Topic. Have a meeting agenda with clear objectives. All of the innovation that comes about to make those chips better comes about because of the interaction with a lot of folks.”, Such interaction often involves meeting across the span of many time zones. Teams used to limit you to up 300 participants per meeting, but things have changed. An agenda on the shorter side can be a good thing if it is well thought-out. What might be adding to greater meeting misery today are the dual — and perhaps interrelated — factors of time and technology. Good minutes vs. bad minutes. Yes, you read that right. Here are a few different examples to help you identify the differences between a good and bad meeting agenda. Rather than avoiding all meetings, it’s better to work at making the … Bad meetings happen to the best of us, and, unfortunately, they can happen often…” keep reading: 12/06/15 – “Stop” via Forbes-“I hate bad meetings. No clear meeting organizer – a meeting is called, but there is a lack of clarity around who is organizing it and for what purpose. Good meeting minutes. Engaging presentations, unconventional meeting methods, smarter scheduling and tools like web conferencing can help your team get more out of daily meetings. “The rationale is coordination, which is a function of organization, to bring together a lot of different people who do a lot of different things. Meetings often stray from their initial purpose. Some project managers keep their team members in meeting prison, and often, the meetings are things that could have been handled in other ways. Once you’ve gathered some feedback, ask yourself these questions: Is a meeting necessary? You need to carve out time to do that right.” The last kind of meeting is a quarterly one, when “the team needs to step away and ask, ‘how are we doing? The good news is, we’ve found that changing the way your team and your organization approach meetings is possible. Despite the promise of free coffee and breakfast, most people dread early morning meetings. If you are joining from Chrome, you can join a meeting with audio and incoming screen share - joining with video via Chrome will be coming soon. It's a good thing to put some thought into your agenda, as well as encourage your team members to prepare for the upcoming meeting. A complete comparison of Zoom vs Webex vs GoToWebinar vs Webinarjam. Early morning meetings should be avoided as you will find a number of employees are still sleepy. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. But, it really does. “I think people call meetings so they can have people’s mindshare, when it might have been more efficient to work through a problem independently.”, “We’ve accepted mediocrity around our meetings, and that permeates everything,” says Patrick Lencioni, president of the Table Group and author of the books Death by Meeting and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Also, meetings at the start of the day mean that the employee must prepare for it the previous day or arrive early. Some flaws have recently been discovered in the … “When we have more interdependence in work, we have to interact with each other — ‘I can’t do my work without you.’ Complexity entails multiple different specialties coming together. And that’s incredibly frustrating, because the problem is … it’s not across the board. There’s not much else to say when it comes to Google Meet, and that’s not a bad thing. If your team members don't know what's expected of them when a discussion is taking place, their responses will tend to fall on the more tentative side. If you have people at the meeting who are not fully engaged, that means they are not sharing relevant information. See for yourself how this can work miracles in presentation: View a video of someone speaking in a warmly-lit environment, then view one where the presenter’s only source of light is the reflection from a computer monitor. Part of HuffPost Business. Does a task need to be assigned or delegated? Everyone else is just so SLAMMED, y’know? If taking meeting minutes is your responsibility, you’ve no doubt faced the eternal dilemma: Write too little and you risk missing a vital detail. “People call meetings so they can have people’s mindshare, when it might have been more efficient to work through a problem independently.”–Nancy Rothbard, Leadingly tongue-in-cheek questions aside, respondents to the 2015 poll said that each week they spent 4.6 hours preparing for and 4.5 hours attending general status meetings — up from the same poll conducted in 2011, but only slightly. If taking meeting minutes is your responsibility, you’ve no doubt faced the eternal dilemma: Write … Good meeting minutes. “When people are attending bad meetings and that is the pattern, they either check out or they act out.”–Roger Schwarz, On the other hand, technology may be catching up. Via The Muse[/caption] How to plan your next meeting to avoid a doozy. And there are organizational level outcomes. Schedules with too few meetings are associated with substantial risks for employees, leaders, teams, and organizations.” Instead, the author advises breaking the cycle of bad meetings with the application of meeting science. The framework developed by Richard L. Daft and Robert H. Lengel is no less true today than when it was introduced three decades ago — that the more ambiguous the task, the richer the communication medium required to get the job done. Over time, the market has grown[…]. 2. While email and calls may be appropriate for certain kinds of questions, they lack the social cues of face-to-face meetings — glances, intimation and bonding — and are therefore not always efficacious to working through other issues. It may be a subtle difference, but it can be a meeting killer. “By checking out they may be physically there but not engaged and contributing.”, Checking out could mean that a group is meeting virtually and “I’ve got you on mute and I’m doing several other tasks,” Schwarz adds. Media richness theory confirms as much. There’s only one problem: Meetings are bad for business. You Don’t Have to Be “In Person” But You Need to “Be There” I am a big believer in face-to-face meetings. I'm fortunate to be in an extremely wonderful group here in Gatlinburg. Or is the purpose to give updates and share information? You can’t do away with them entirely—meetings are essential to an agile process like Scrum. Good minutes help everyone remember what was said, track any decisions, and clarify action items. “This is the meeting people always think they are having, but really should be on a tactical subject you’ve already agreed to, to see how progress is — ‘how are we doing on customer service?’ ‘What are our key metrics telling us?’ And that’s all you’re doing.” The third is a longer meeting, a couple of hours long, for big, strategic topics. If you want anything more than that, you’ll need to go to Zoom territory. Bad meetings drone on forever, you never seem to get to the point, and you leave wondering why you were even present. But to create more effective meetings, our teams should come prepared with a game plan of why this idea makes sense, what supporting info they have to back it up, and a plan on how to execute it. Meetings are a crucial part of the communication process, but they endure a lot of ridicule. Wharton’s Herbert Hovenkamp explains why far-right social media platform Parler faces an uphill court battle in proving that Amazon violated antitrust laws. Opening Up the Floor. “The problem is too often they are boring, and boring in a meeting happens for the same reason as in a book or movie — when there is not enough compelling tension. Some people come in super prepared, and those are the people who are most frustrated, while the people who are less prepared are thinking, ‘thank goodness we’re meeting; I finally have time to think about this.’ That’s really challenging, and it’s partly because of all of the pressure on us in the way that the world has sped up.”, Technology has opened up potentialities for meetings that did not exist before, but the development of even more sophisticated technology does not hold out the promise of a rescue from bad meetings. Bad things, in fact, can and do spring from bad meetings, says organizational psychologist Roger Schwarz, president and CEO of Roger Schwarz & Associates. Check out alternatives and read real reviews from real users. Executives were spending an average of 3.5 hours a week in planned meetings, plus more in informal meetings, reported a study by Rollie Tillman, Jr., published in 1960 in the Harvard Business Review. China’s real estate sector remains a significant source of economic activity, despite an economic slowdown and tightened credit conditions. Rules are one way of achieving coordination, but the more complex the issue, the more you have to sit down and work through things. People don’t take meetings seriously. Apps such as Meeting Calc allow users to enter the hourly rates of attendees to come up with a grand total for how much meetings are costing. “This is for ‘what are we going to do about the competition’s new product?’ — to wrestle that issue to the ground. There needs to be a solid reason for things to make it into your meeting agenda. People are doing their own thing during the meeting – texting, talking on the phone, responding to … Good minutes should provide background information for future meetings on the same topics. They arrive late, leave early, and spend most of their time … Meetings are a symptom of bad organization. “Teams that do this for 28 days realize it’s crucial to keeping everyone from going off the rails.” The second type is the staff meeting. Have you been to a meeting and thought “what does … Ineffective, unproductive or simply “bad” committee meetings are very easy to recognise because they have some or all of the following characteristics: they feel like the meeting goes forever but nothing was actually achieved conversations drag on, bouncing from one point to another with little focus on the issue to be discussed conflict occurs regularly […] You should still take a moment to explain yourself if you ask for feedback and choose not to bring it up at a meeting, but you can't let team input run the entire show. Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Ask Sensitive Questions. There’s only one problem: Meetings are bad for business. If they are clear and focused and have the board on the edge of their seats, I’d say this is a good company worth investing in.”, Lencioni recommends sorting out meetings into four types, each with its own objective. Here are a few different examples to help you identify the differences between a good and bad meeting agenda. Teams Meetings in Edge and Chrome. Good minutes should provide background information for future meetings on the same topics. ... whether you organizing or just attend the meeting, think that how to avoid these things that make meeting a bad meeting, as well as other methods, tools that were used or could have been used to make your meeting a more successful productive meeting. Yet, meeting over the phone is not always the answer. The problem is too often they are boring, and boring in a meeting happens for the same reason as in a book or movie — when there is not enough compelling tension. Jump into Zoom’s settings, go to the Audio tab, and test the microphone from there. “A meeting is a place where you keep the minutes and throw away the hours,” author and former Xerox executive Thomas Kayser has said. Face-to-face you get the richest communication — you read body language, you learn much more and faster.”. 4. require definition of what we need to get on the same page (not necessarily consensus) Bad meetings take a toll on workplace productivity. There is a lot of work going on in communicating meaning using technology assist and Wharton should be contributing more to meetings from a knowlege pov than. It’s partly due to my fundamental impatience and partly to my experience of how productive and even fun a good meeting can be. 1. not imply a physical meeting when not needed This is why people go into business, but business professors would be shocked to learn that nearly all those meetings happen for only 15 minutes. With these tips and strategies, they can be efficient and productive.