Make Your Next Office Meeting a Complete Waste of Time

Sometimes in our effort to be efficient and keep everything on track, we rob our organizations. We don’t take the opportunity to get beyond the agenda items. We rush onto the next thing. As a result, our employees or team members never really open up.

Leaders don’t create room for people to share what is on their minds. This is a travesty. Some meetings should be more like happy hour or a back yard barbecue and less like a software update.

Knowing how to do a good meeting is something that I never feel like I have ever mastered. One of my problems is I come with too many agenda items. Or I am worried about taking too long. So, I rush through stuff. I may not schedule enough time to chit chat. But those informal discussions can be great for developing rapport. These are necessary moments to build a better team.

Recently, Patrick Lencioni, business and leadership guru, said that strong organizations and companies should spend more time together. He added that smart leaders will ditch efficiency and professionalism for effectiveness and personal connection. This got me thinking, “Maybe we should waste more time to be more effective?” 

What if lunches and hangout are better than standing meetings and Powerpoints? Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for structure. But there also has to be room to breathe too. 

Consider these questions as you evaluate your leadership. 

  • What do you know about the personal lives of your team?
  • When was the last time that you inquired and really listened to what is bugging your employees or team members?
  • When was the last time that you took a few moments to simply laugh or share personal stories?
  • Who do you least like on your team? What is one thing you do appreciate about this person? Now go and tell that person this positive reflection. 
  • If kids grow through play, what about adults? When was the last time you did something fun with fellow team members? How can you incorporate more activity and less talk in your future meetings?