Are You Ready for a Story About Meetings?

- Communication

by Jurgen Appelo

I recently participated in a MIX Hangout interview at Hack Management. One of the questions Polly LaBarre asked me was, “What’s your opinion about meetings?” Well, that question is easy.

If you don’t like a meeting, don’t attend.

That’s my humble opinion.

When a meeting organizer wants people to attend, she should learn to communicate the value of the meeting so that people want to attend. It is my firm belief that, if you cannot convince me to attend your meeting, it is your problem, not mine. While I’m away, I suggest your use the available time to read a book on influence marketing, or something.

At Happy Melly One, we had our first meeting with seven people this week. Four of them are new team members. I’m glad to say that the whole team was able to attend. Some of them had to find workarounds so that they could participate. My new team members wanted to be in the meeting.

Why?

Obviously, Lisette communicated the importance of it. The only topic on our agenda was: Personal Maps. As a new team, we spent more than an hour discussing our personal maps with each other. We discussed interesting personal things, such as values, life goals, and work-life integration. We asked fascinating questions, such as “Is your Political Science study still useful for you today?”, “Are all your travels difficult for your family?” and “What kind of novel do you want to write?” On Slack, our virtual water cooler, team members described the meeting afterwards as “Very cool and nice session yesterday” and “The session was super motivating for me.”
In other words, the meeting worked. Nobody walked out. Nobody’s connection got “dropped”. On the contrary, several of us postponed other tasks in the background so that we could hang around a bit longer. It’s easy to see why. We cared about that meeting.

Our next meeting will be about compensation: how much will we pay ourselves as a team? What is our Salary Formula going to look like? I’m quite sure all seven team members will be there. ๐Ÿ™‚

Did you like this story? Do you have some experiences that you want us to write about?

p.s. Our new team consists of: Jurgen Appelo, Lisette Sutherland, Sergey Kotlov, Hannu Heljala, Louise Brace, Jennifer Riggins, and Nicolas de Vicq.

image: (c) 2007 Nick Piggott, Creative Commons 2.0

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