The #1 Meeting You NEED to STOP Having

September 3, 2015
Maya Stosskopf

One of the reasons people hate meetings is that workers are frequently pulled away from their actual work to participate in a meeting that the person can’t contribute to in any meaningful way.  The key element distinguishing this type of awful meeting from a worthwhile meeting is that a decision has already been made, no alternatives will sincerely be considered, someone just wants to cover their behind. The perpetrator calling for this kind of meeting is typically a manager who really just wants to make unilateral decisions. The meeting is a measure of protection, it means Mr. Manager can say “but we all agreed to replace product X with product Y, we had a meeting.”

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Are you sitting through a lot of these meetings?  Here are some of the signs.

Signs of a CYA Meeting:

  1. There’s lots of people (more than 6)
  2. But there is no real agenda other than “review issue X”
  3. Nothing is asked of participants in advance
  4. One person does the majority of the talking
  5. That person says “Anyone have any questions or concerns?”
  6. But there is very little time allowed for questions or concerns
  7. And, most importantly, there is no process in place to develop alternative approaches
  8. Finally, there is a follow-up email which indicates everyone agreed to the plan outlined in the meeting

Are there any signs of a CYA meeting that I left out?  What can be done to minimize these viscous time-sucking monsters?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/60141638@N06/9030314454″>Cover Your Ass</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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