Meetings are horrible!
I refuse to believe that a highly-functioning organization will require meetings to get their objectives accomplished. I am adamant in this opinion because I am living the inverse. (My team does a pretty good job when interacting internally, but interacting with, and within, the greater organization there are people whose lives are completely wasted in meetings.)
From our anti-pattern I blame a lack of (quality) documentation. If things aren’t documented, then you need meeting after meeting to refine language, requirements, meanings, changes, implications, et cetera, et cetera! It is VERY frustrating.
And another thing that exacerbates our communication issues is the use of email. I would love to believe that I am the worlds best email orator, but time after time I am reminded that people just don’t (purposely won’t?) get my explanations.
So then the pattern goes like this:
- the offending email gets misunderstood
- the email is bounced around to a couple of other people, each of whom add their own interpretations
- the email gets bounced around amongst numerous other people, creating a horribly involved chain
- then, you guessed it, we end up in yet another meeting
If you’re lucky, someone writes down the "action items". But what this results in is the "action item list" is sent to everyone in the meeting. Someone disagrees with what they said they would do, and we enter the whole email-escalates-into-a-meeting cycle, yet again.