Why Did You Suffer Through Another Unproductive Meeting?

Trigger Question #46

Boring, no. But productive? (Created with Microsoft Copilot)

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(If you haven’t suffered through an unproductive meeting, short or long, then this trigger question is not for you. You may stop reading. But everyone else would like to ask you a different question. Which planet are you on?)

Meetings, meetings, bl… boring meetings. Are you also tired of unproductive meetings?

If you are, then it probably is your fault. No, not the being tired bit. The being unproductive bit.

Were you invited to attend the meeting? If you were, then you had the power to make the meeting more productive. What if your boss ordered you to attend the meeting? Well, you still had the power to make the meeting more productive.

And if you find it possible to make a meeting more productive, chances are you will achieve something special. You will also make the meeting more effective! Productive is one thing. But effective! Now that’s meaningful.

How can you make a meeting more effective? By asking, “What are we going to do?”

And if it is a purely information sharing meeting? Then ask, “Now that we know, what are we going to do?”

If you don’t want to sound like a stuck record, you can change your question by adding either “next” or “about it” to the end. What are we going to do next? What are we going to do about it?

Here’s the trick to using these questions effectively. You can ask them at any time during the meeting. Doing so will make the meeting more productive. But you must ask these two questions at the end of the meeting. That’s how you make the meeting more effective. Because you want everyone to understand, before they leave the meeting, what outcome they must aim for.

Of course, if your chairperson knows how to guide a meeting, you won’t need to ask these two questions at the end. However, you will help the chairperson stay on track by asking these two questions during the meeting. But, please, only as and when appropriate.

Now that you know this, what are you going to do about it next time you have a meeting?

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

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