I sat in a meeting last week and after the same topic had been discussed for about 30 minutes without actually going anywhere I lost interest and started doodling in my notebook. Suddenly it occurred to me that a good way to pass the time would be to write my next post about the meeting and how and why it was so boring. So here is a brief summary with a poor attempt at humor thrown in.
- Start off with introduction from host – somebody (usually me) picks up on a specific point and goes into detail thereby immediately throwing the meeting off track.
- Return to agenda after brief conclusion of introduction and move ahead purposefully.
- This is usually the most productive part with almost no snores or vacant looks.
- Hit a “brick wall topic” and talk in circles for hours.
- This topic is invariably poorly explained and has no measurable argument either for or against.
- Discuss the purpose of the meeting and therefore what should and should not be captured (referring of course to the offending topic which is totally irrelevant anyway).
- Try to find the words to define both the problem and the solution to the offending topic.
- Discuss a completely unrelated example.
- Return again to the discussion of the purpose of the meeting (as if it actually mattered – duh!).
- Change to native language (in this case German).
- Discover (much to the protagonists surprise) that the offending topic is no easier to explain in German than in English.
- Eventually… move on at high speed to try to get as much as possible done in the 10 minutes that remain.
- At this point the next group to have booked the meeting room are already standing outside impatiently and pointing in.
- Run out of time – 5 minutes after the meeting was supposed to be over anyway.
- Schedule follow-up meeting…
This post is late for last week. Don’t ask why but lets just say that meetings were involved and leave it at that.