What’s wrong with your meetings

Meetings should be a source of valuable information sharing, helping you to feel inspired and connected with others and to advance in your work. So why does NO ONE describe their meetings like this?

Want to say goodbye to boring, unproductive meetings? You’re not alone. Everyone complains about meetings. But is there any realistic way to make them suck less? Thrive Labs founder Priya Parker insists there is, with TED owner and curator Chris Anderson calling her book on the subject (The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, May 2018) a “must-read”.

Interacting with other people isn’t easy; in fact, at any moment, a simple conversation can start to feel like a land mine of misunderstanding and judgment. It tends to be even more problematic at work, where we often don’t really know, have much in common with, or get to choose the people at our meeting tables.

I agree with Parker that what makes the majority of meetings so unsatisfying is the unwillingness to take, or discomfort with taking, the risks inherent to genuine human connection. Parker’s rallying cry: stop playing it safe with tired routines and scripted discussions! “Own your power” as hosts and attendees, bring a clear sense of purpose to the table, and make your time together really count! Her approach might bring you a little extra heat at your next meeting, but that’s better than boredom and lack of progress, right?

To go further, read: The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, by Priya Parker (Riverhead Books, May 2018).