Meetings are not for rubber stamping – that cab be done with a few emails or a Slack/Teams group chat. Meetings are not for monologues – make a video or audio file and send it to me. No, meetings are for discussions, debates, disagreement, discourse, and engagement. Meetings are not passive events, watch a film for that. No, meetings are about engaging and shaping the outcome.
Sadly, most organisational meetings do everything they can to discourage engagement. “Let’s take that offline” is a favourite phrase from the one wanting to avoid a discussion. Passivity is encouraged and appears to be desired. We pack the agenda so full that there is never ‘enough time’ and we move from monologue to monologue, while we check our emails and multitask.
Our meeting situation is a disaster.
Meetings require opinions and assertions. Not arrogant ones – we have enough of that. Opinions though matter and are important in a kind, generous way. Opinions and assertions matter as they enable discussion.
If you don’t want a discussion, don’t have a meeting. There are plenty of other ways to tell us what you want us to do.
The choice is up to us.