If you work with people, then you’re bound to have meetings. And if you have meetings, you’re bound to often wonder why you meet.
Most of us are annoyed by meetings. We don’t like the fact that we are forced to be unproductive at a place other than our desk. We’d much rather spend that time being at our desk lamenting over our March Madness bracket and finding new Pandora stations.
This attitude going into the meeting prevents the meeting from actually accomplishing it’s intended purpose. Instead of valuing the opportunity to sharpen others and be sharpened by those God has placed around you, we look for a way out. So we take our computer or iPad in the meeting to “take notes,” while in reality we email people across the room or check Facebook.
When we have to make a decision in a meeting, it’s usually so we can move on and get done. Our decisions turn into an exit strategy: the faster we can make a decision, the faster we can get out and back to checking Facebook at our desk.
The problem is that often those decisions aren’t really thought through. We just say something to move on. But once we think about it a little bit, we realize there’s a better way.
We pass our new idea along to the few critical people. Since you actually put a little thought into it, they like it better. So you go with it. But everyone else is confused, because they heard the decision made in the meeting, not the new one.
So here’s a recommended solution: think. If you’re lucky enough to have a meeting agenda ahead of time, spend 20 minutes thinking about the agenda. Jot down your questions, comments, etc. Then bring them up in the meeting.
You’ll quickly discover how much difference thinking makes.