You’re doing it when your people do their jobs at the end of the working day, because 50%+ of their time is spent in meetings (formal or all sort of frequent, informal interruptions)
As leaders we keep talking about our people's well being, especially nowadays. In some companies well-being surveys and mental health programs are being implemented. On top of standard routines, we create some more ‘let’s connect’ virtual opportunities.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good we ask, it’s good we normalize mental health topics and it’s extremely important to stick together.
But way too many people complain they spend too much time in meetings, calls, emails, being interrupted, instead of doing their jobs. I would urge you to be curious about this aspect in the organization you’re responsible for.
You’re doing it when your meetings take a toll on the company costs without creating a positive return
Leaders spend way more time in meetings than their people, which is normal, but imagine when you calculate the cost of management teams time spent in meetings… I challenge you to calculate the $ and think what else can you do if you have that budget or what needs to be changed in your meetings for that cost to be justified.
Sometimes we have the illusion of the positive return telling ourselves stuff like - we need to keep people informed, aligned, engaged, connected...
Too many times engagement is missing, some people are doing some other tasks while being physically present, a couple of voices are dominating the meeting, no decision is taken, disagreements and tensions are not properly moderated to create alignment. We have a strange taste for what we call alignment or better said most of the time we have the illusion of alignment as an output of our meetings.
You’re doing it by not taking responsibility to change something about it
This is not to tell you that all meetings are bad or unnecessary. This is not to tell you that you’re doing it wrong, even if it is very likely that you can do it better.
This is not to judge you as a manager. Let’s just say I’ve learned too much by making my own mistakes to judge anybody on literally any leadership mistakes.
One of my favorite books on the topic is Death by meetings, by Patrick Lencioni. Go for it if you haven’t read it yet, it’s a great leadership fable and besides being inspired, you’ll have a good time reading it.
Will you take 10 min of your time today to think about your meetings?