Boring meetings are terrible.
You have a million other things on your mind. Everyone else lost interest ages ago, so you just trundle through. You might agree on some uncontentious points, and settle for “good enough.”
It’s unlikely you’re the only one who’s feeling frustrated. However, 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 examples of how a practice became stale at Quin, and tips on how we managed to fix this.
Changes we made to make our meetings less boring.
- 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)
In each of these examples, the practice became stale for a different reason. However, the problem was when we did not point out the fact that the meeting was no longer useful at the time this started.
Sounds great, but how do you facilitate change?
- 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?
Enjoyed this? Check out Chris’s tips on How to Rebuild Trust With Your Colleagues.