Have you started dreading meetings? Here’s how to fix that.

Chris Socha
Chris Socha

BOOORING! Let’s be honest, everyone hates this meeting…

Boring meetings are the worst

You have a million other things on your mind, everyone else lost interest ages ago, so you just trundle through, agree on some uncontentious points, and settle for “good enough.”

It’s unlikely you’re the only one who’s feeling frustrated, but unless you say something, you’re doomed to repeat this monotonous meeting all over again next week.

It’s not an uncommon problem, but it can be surprisingly difficult to break out of this pattern. In this video I share two examples we’ve had at Quin where a practice became stale and how we tried to steer ourselves away from this pain.




So what did we change?

We changed our once dull tech sessions to focus on technical alignment and managing just enough tech debt rather than spending countless hours triaging piles of tech debt. We’ve also  repurposed the time set aside for our retrospectives to focus on different aspects of team learning and improvement (we’re currently reading ShapeUp as a team and have experimented with lots of different retro formats like the Three Little Pigs, Lessons Learned Quadrants, and the Spotify Team Health Check)

Some retro format models based from Shape Up


In each of these examples, the practice became stale for a different reason, but the cardinal sin was not calling it out when the meetings were no longer useful.


Change is difficult! How do I get started?


Bring it up with the group (or whoever is facilitating); talk about why you feel this way, ask someone to reiterate the purpose of the meeting, focus on the value it should bring and the outcomes you expect from it.

Once you’ve been able to discuss the root cause of the pain, you will have a much better chance of changing the meeting or practice for the better. And don’t be afraid to experiment; it may take you a while to discover what works best for your team.

I’d love to hear from you. What ineffective meetings have you been in, and what techniques have you used to help you think differently and break out of a mould?

Chris Socha
Chris Socha