According to someone who commented on an article in today’s Wall Street Journal on meetings “Meetings are supposed to be a time of creative problem-solving, where the best ideas emerge. That’s the funniest — and most absurd — sentence in this generally vacuous article.” When it comes time for a meeting, co-workers can be deadly. Discussions get hijacked. Bad ideas fall like blunt objects. Long-winded colleagues consume all available oxygen, killing good ideas by asphyxiation.
Meetings are a way to diffuse and evade responsibility for decisions but then there are also the people at meetings who will tell you why your idea won’t or can’t work or they will hijack your meeting with their self importance causing others in the room to remain quiet less they offend the power seeker.
Then there are those who hide in ambush. These usually are people who tell you, before your meeting, that your idea is pretty good but when you actually present they attack you or side with someone who is attacking you and bend with the prevailing wind. There are ways to avoid these types of people and meetings:
(1) Don’t schedule a meeting unless it is absolutely necessary. The more people you get into a meeting the more chances people will have to sabotage you just to make you look bad for their own personal gain.
(2) If you are meeting about a new idea or process meet with the biggest influencers before hand to gain their buy and overcome their objections but be aware that may not be enough to overcome their fear that you are smarter than they are,
(3) One on one meetings are always better to gain a commitment from coworkers. Make sure, however, that you follow up the meeting with an email reinforcing key points.
(4) If people are checking eMail or drifting during meetings than call them out on it and ask them to please not multitask while you are discussing this important subject.
(5) If you provide lunch you are going to have more people at the meeting than really need to be there. Everyone loves a free lunch.
(6) Always follow up every meeting with a meeting summary of key points.
(7) If someone is trying to power steal your meeting call them on it. I worked with a Director who always made the meeting about her even when it rarely touched on an area within her responsibility.
(8) Cover your ass all the time. Be aware that no matter how good your idea to the company, customers and shareholders there is always going to be someone working behind the scenes to sabotage you.
- Is creativity good for your career ? (richsmanagementblog.com)