March 10, 2015

Meetings Remove the Madness and Save your Sanity

I find it interesting that there are still bad meetings in corporate America.  I have been fighting to improve meetings for more than 3 decades.  I wrote the poem “Meetings – Madness or Sanity?” in 2003 as both a personal observation and a warning to others.  I have been teaching and speaking on both time and meeting management since 1983.  I was asked by many people to write a book on the meeting management concepts I shared in training, so attendees could share it with others so that more people could use them to improve their meetings.  I wrote the book R.A!R.A! A Meeting Wizard’s Approach to fill that need for more productive meetings.  Mine is not the only book in print (or e-book) to help people hold more effective and efficient meetings.  So why are companies still experiencing bad meetings?  Is it the environment or do the individual people not care if the meetings they attend accomplish little?
RARA A Meeting Wizard's Approach
RARA A Meeting
Wizard's Approach
I am not the only person who wonders why some meetings are still bad and what the key is to better It is all over social media that is typically used by businesses for marketing or professionals for networking ( i.e. Twitter and LinkedIN aka IN).  Twitter has the hashtag #Meetings as an information feed on the topic.  Using that hashtag, people talk about upcoming events, drone on live about boring meetings they are in, complain about the meeting they just left, and occasionally offer tips to improve meetings. IN offers posts and discussions on better ways to handle meetings.  At the time of my writing this post, IN showed over 5 thousand groups discussing meetings, over 22 thousand companies that mention meetings in their name or profile, and over 4 million people claiming some type of meeting skill.

With so many ways to improve meetings, why do we still have bad meetings?  Meetings that waste time and meetings that other dread to attend.  Is it that people cannot read or just do not want to hold and attend better meetings?  Are people afraid to say “This is meeting is not going well.  How can we improve it?”  Personally, I find these excuses/reasons hard to swallow.  Focusing on the RARA acronym for meetings is an easy answer.  Do we need to make the learning process harder to hold more productive meetings?  Please tell me, what can we do to get the word out to everyone that meetings can be better?  How can we get people to want to improve verses complain?

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