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01 June 2009

Meetings - places where minutes are kept and hours squandered?

My boss forwarded this article “Are meetings places where minutes are kept and hours squandered?

I read it and I must say that it is very well written. I am so glad to see such article written. Some of the excerpt from the article:

We tend to keep quiet and compliant during meeting and then voice our objections to the whole world after the meeting. This is due to scared of the consequences of voicing ideas and opinions that may be different. Offending staff that may be placed in cold storage and leads to a culture of “silence” and unthinking “compliance.

Do we still remember the purpose of meetings? Meeting is to draw on our collective wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and experience as many minds are better than one. It is a place for intelligence gathering rather than a personal inquest. Meetings are the time for us to voice ideas, objections and opinions.

Is meeting a place for discussion or announcements where the boss speaks, the rest listen, nod their heads attentively, provide verbal affirmations and praise, and in the end no real knowledge has been exchanged?

Our role is to provide our boss with all the possible information i.e. options, market intelligence, potential threats and weaknesses which can help him make an educated decision. Our boss does not need us to agree and affirm and tell them what they want to hear which is negligence.

When the staff perceive their bosses to be very defensive and aggressive when they receive bad news, and dismissive when they hear differing opinions, the staff will shape their behavior accordingly to survive in that environment. If it is necessary to hide the truth to remain in the good graces of the boss, they will do it. In the end of course, this type of organisations will become uncompetitive because they are un-intelligent organisations. Defensive behavior is the tendency to take any criticism personally i.e. personal criticism of their leadership.

We need bosses who are secure and confident enough to allow their staff to contribute ideas and opinions freely, instill a culture that encourages truth and accuracy.

Boss has the final call as there will be some who may agree, and others who may not. We need to respect and subject ourselves to the authority of our boss in order for organisation to function effectively. Once a decision has been made, it is our role to support the corporate line.

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