Perception Is Reality

Meetings are a Matter of Precious Time

Posted on: January 19, 2009

Vasta recently posted this excerpt:

Having meetings for the sake of having meetings drive me insane. Meetings should be short, to the point, and only called when they are absolutely necessary.

In the New York Times, Reid Hastie (professor at the University of Chicago) offers some good tips to keep meetings productive and efficient:

Whoever calls a meeting should be explicit about its objectives.
Everyone should think carefully about the opportunity costs of a meeting.
After productive or unproductive meetings, assign credit or blame to the person in charge.
Keep people accountable, and stop having meetings for meetings’ sake. Please.

While I may not agree about the point about placing blame, I think this is a good time to be reflective on the way meetings are held within the institutions we are a part of. I think that when a team starts placing blame, it is no longer a team: it is about a problem at hand, not about the person who was not able to fulfil his duty in the way we expected. Well, for the most part. I also wanted to add, that people must play devils advocate. Please do not have meetings if you are going to be agreeable all the time. Agree to disagree. This is more productive.

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About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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