Thoughts on Meetings

A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours. — Milton Berle


Heard in a Meeting about Meetings in Sydney, Australia

“Program manager: I think we should adopt the behaviours from the charter for meetings of the [Partnerships] section. [Steven], why don’t you read them out?
Steven: Respect other’s opinions and feelings, stay focused, turn off mobile phones, question self before others, participate enthusiastically and share experience and knowledge, have some fun….
Employee: Anyone telling me to have some fun at meetings better think again.”

Sure there is resistance to having fun.  Not really.  But the employee’s statement is more about them being respected (see rule #1 above).  I have found when participants object to the “fun” behavior rule (and I have) they are merely testing the viability of the rules along with making the statement: “Don’t tell me what to feel.”  There is nothing wrong with including have fun, but be aware of sensitive folks who are concerned that they are being told what to feel.  It would be best to acknowledge the person’s objection and ask for ways to phrase it so that everyone may agree.

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