When Meetings get Hijacked

The problem with meetings at work is that they tend to dominated by managers, managers who unconsciously or otherwise use them to emphasise their management authority. This is not in itself necessarily a bad thing, exercising management authority is a perfectly legitimate way to achieve the development of the team, the individual and the task, but there are ways and means.

A manager getting together their team and bombarding them with sales figures, performance results, housekeeping issues or process changes: not a meeting!

A manager getting together their team and enabling each and every one of them to play a part in meeting the key objectives as laid out in the agenda: most definitely a meeting!

The first example, a briefing, is an important part of management communication and requires the not insignificant management skills of talking, presenting, and perhaps even exhortation and performance. The meeting requires the very significant and complex skills of listening, reasoning, interpreting and summarising used to empower and enable the people present.

To confuse the two undermines the effectiveness of both, particularly the meeting. So how can we ensure that the integrity of a good meeting is preserved and not sacrificed at the high altar of management ego?

“Stay tuned for the next instalment, where we see how¬†allowing others to chair a meeting empowers both them and you as a manager.”

Etymon