Meeting Marginalisation

Malmo academics try to tell us the humble business meeting doesn’t deserve its lowly reputation.

Can the widespread reporting of such Swedish suggestion provide more than a mere a fika-style breaktime fillip?

When I noted that most headline writers incorporated the finding that ‘work meetings are more about therapy than productivity’, I first thought of a welcome speech that riffed on which ‘issue’ could be given its own time on the couch today. Wonder how long before someone took offence at that line…

Still, the “almost therapeutic” point, that ‘long meetings can be a form of therapy, where work colleagues at the same level of an organisation can come together to work out their problems’ feels valid.

I recognise the big stifler of meeting success though; marginalisation.

The self-perception that neither influence nor position applies to you.

I’ve definitely seen a Sale get slippery on this.

In which case, one key observation should serve us well;

‘The purpose is connection and identity, rather than decision-making’.

Are you attuned to these vibes in your meetings?

Take care to sense the anthropology of the meeting.

Who’s nodding, who’s laughing, who’s talking or listening. Who sits where.

Who seems actively eyeing up their colleagues, to gauge where they may come from and potentially aligning their views.

If such forums are indeed more about the social dimension of what keeps the organisation together, then where is such togetherness seen in physical form.

Who might not be fully ‘present’ After all, if people are doing side activities during then it usually gets ineffective.

Is the meeting less about your precious ‘go’ decision, but more their internal wranglings?

As all sellers know, decisions aren’t made in the meeting, but after it.

So how are you both tangibly helping prospects to ‘connect and identify’ and to shape outcomes?

As the cited JK Galbraith wisdom runs; “meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything”.

Are you falling foul of this vacillation too? Make sure that you are not the one who is marginalised.

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