We're all meeting-ed out. Zoom fatigue is real. Yet, meetings continue to be a key way for teams to work together and decisions to be made. That won't change, even if people return to work in person.
Considering how much time we spend in meetings and how critical they are, shouldn't we do everything we can to make them a productive and motivating experience? This session of Conversations at Work is all about meeting talk: what do we say and how do we say it, to deliver better outcomes and meetings that we actually enjoy.
In this meeting about meetings, we were inspired by Renée Safrata, CEO & Founder of Vivo Team and Kirsten Anderson, Founder of Integrate Play Solutions.
What’s the state of meetings right now?
The bulk of us have experienced the switch from in-person to remote meetings; how have meetings changed for you?
Personally, I noticed that I used to love meetings as an opportunity to walk to another room, break up the time from my screen, and be around people in general. Now, they’ve transformed into draining sessions where it’s much harder to focus with the distractions at home.
From our audience, we noted the (overwhelming) changes in meeting frequency and how there’s a shift in energy during our interactions. The communal meeting has been dehumanized, where the emphasis is on productivity rather than connection.
Challenging ourselves to rethink meetings
Instead of jumping on the opportunity to improve meetings in our new mode of work, we’ve transferred many of our bad meeting habits from a pre-pandemic world. This shows how important it is for us to rethink the way we plan and conduct our meetings.
We talked about keeping a level playing field where there’s a hybrid situation of in-person and remote arrangements, and how essential it is for teams and leaders to be aligned.
Without the office, we should also realize that meetings are the greatest avenue to connect, and serve as an extension of company culture. Even more reason to make them as productive, effective, and supportive as they can be.
Meeting tips and considerations
Our guests provided some valuable questions and prompts for us to consider when re-inventing meetings:
Why are we meeting: Everyone should know the purpose and intent of getting together.
Who should be part of the meeting: Is everyone required to be “at the table” and play a role, or can information be relayed in other modes of communication? A useful exercise might be to calculate the dollar value of the meeting from each person contributing their time.
How are we meeting: What tools or channels can shake up the conversation and provide some disruption to the format so people are engaged? Consider allocating even time slots so everyone can contribute instead of top-down information sharing.
Is this the best use of our time: Are there redundant sections that can be covered in a less time-consuming way such as email? Are there specific actions and outcomes that are expected from our time meeting together?
Creativity is key to changing the way we do meetings and we ought to not underestimate the power of them. There’s a lot we covered in this meeting about meetings, so tune in to all the details in the recording below:
This was our final session for Season 1 of Conversations at Work. Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of this series. We look forward to more fruitful get-togethers in the new year!
More about Conversations at Work
Whether you’re fully dispersed, remote-first, in the office or somewhere in between, conversation is what ties everyone together in your business. This bi-weekly virtual series opens space for dialog that leads to action in the pursuit of better workplaces. We’ll explore how conversation shapes culture, creates connection, and helps leaders lead. We all have a voice—let’s come together and then get to work.