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Stop Hating Meetings: Fix Them Yourself!

Meetings get a  bad rap. They are a waste of time, ineffective, occasionally confrontational and usually energy-sapping. At least, that is their reputation.

Yet, Corporate Americans spend more work time in meetings than in any other interactive activity. Why? Because meetings remain the best way for a group to productively communicate and push mutual tasks forward.

WebEx loves meetings, but it wondered if the rest of us do.

The good folks at online seminar vendor WebEx would probably be ecstatic if all of corporate America sat in virtual meetings all day.
After all, meetings are an inherent good for companies like WebEx
who actually make money off them! Knowing that they are an exception,
WebEx conducts surveys to see how the rest of us feel about business meetings.
And the results do not surprise us either:

  • 9 out of 10 people prefer to interact with people in any way other than meetings
  • Yet, meetings remain the leading form of interaction among all such methods:
Type of Interaction Minutes Spent Per Day
Meetings (in person or virtual) 61
e-mail 55
Telephone 40
Social Media 23
InstantMessaging 22

 

 

 

 

These results probably vary by generation, but we would wager that meetings remain the most prevalent form of interaction regardless of age.

There is a valid reason for this: Face-to-face meetings between people who work together are still the most effective form of group communication we have available.

Remember our hierarchy of how people absorb what you have to say:

The Words you Speak 7%
Tone and Pace of Your Words 38%
Your Body Language 55%

 

Only in meetings where you can both see and hear the speaker do you get the advantage of all three levels of communication.

Save the meeting from its wretched reputation!

The problem is not the fact of the meeting, but the people in charge and how they choose to run the meeting. Meetings are often poorly run, meander off topic, interrupt one’s work flow and force us to listen to blowhards and drones who do nothing but fill space. Conversely, well-run meetings energize us, enable better decision-making, push projects forward and raise productivity.

Run great meetings, and you will see your team’s productivity soar! To learn how, click on this article by our own David Tighe!

For a more graphic display of what the WebEx survey found, open this link.

 

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