Streams

Ditch That Meeting And Call Us

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ditch your meeting and call the Brian Lehrer Show today!

We try an on-air listener experiment. At exactly 11:15 am, we want you to cut out of whatever meeting you're in — say you're going to the bathroom, or whatever — and call the show. The number is 212-433-9692. Excuse yourself by 11:15, then call us up and talk about the meeting you just left, and whatever else is on your mind.

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Comments [14]

Ivy Perez from Chicago, IL

There are two kinds of meetings that I have to attend which absolutely drive me crazy: The first are "update us on your progress" meetings that happen way earlier than they need to. I often get assigned projects on Friday afternoons, then have to attend a meeting on Tuesday or sometimes even MONDAY morning about the progress I've made.

The second kind of meeting I have to do is initiative meetings with new members of the team. I'm the most technically savvy and knowledgeable of my group (not to toot my own horn too much), so when new members get excited about an idea, they schedule a meeting with the boss to talk about it, then schedule a few meetings before with me to make sure they've got enough backup with the boss. I generally feel too bad to tell them their ideas don't hold water, and then during the eventual meeting I'm along for the ride when they turn out not to. Womp womp.

Jul. 17 2014 11:32 AM
Wendy from SoHo, NYC

Hi Bryan et al!

As the creative director and founder of SoHoSoleil - creative meeting spaces in Manhattan this is what we've found:

These Spacial Effects stimulate offsite meetings:
- open flexible space, can be divided different ways
- big windows with views of the outside, weather & world
- moveable furnishings
- different types of furniture, giant seating pillows, couches, comfy chairs, diner booths, extra tables, AV equipment
- white walls where collateral can be posted anywhere
- breakout rooms and areas of various sizes
- stimulating environs with interesting artwork, plants
- interesting neighborhood for breaks, walking distance from hotels
- anything that differs from the dark standard hotel/board room table

Meeting Leadership
- the more organized the better
- warming folks up to work with one another, meet & greet at breakfast, quick games to integrate the group
- a sense of humor
- taking time to get folks on their feet, have breaks, stretching, walking around the block for a task, or fresh air
- changing the size of the group throughout the day, breaking them apart and then pulling them back together to compare notes.
- folks like some sort of a contest, competition within the scope of the tasks at hand
- human stimulators: creative people from different disciplines come in for short talks to get folks to think outside the box.

Here is a link to unrelated spaces that we made are in unique facilities not found in hotels, resorts, restaurants, beyond NYC for national listeners.

http://sohosoleil.com/meeting-elsewhere-creative-meeting-spaces-list/

Upfront we've got to happily mention that WNYC is one of our clients!

Jul. 16 2014 12:25 PM
Chris O'Connor from Hoboken

I just heard a caller on this story reference Mile Square Theatre's production of "Core Values" in Hoboken, a production I'm involved with. The play hilariously shows how team-building and training exercises can fall absolutely flat! Scenes with brainstorming, trust fall exercises, and painful role playing are on stage. It's cool to hear the subject discussed and the show mentioned. Great discussion.

Jul. 16 2014 12:17 PM
Bob

Brian, haven't you heard of Successful Meetings magazine? http://www.successfulmeetings.com/

Jul. 16 2014 11:37 AM

The worst meeting I ever went to was an all day seminar on "how to have a meeting"!

Jul. 16 2014 11:35 AM
jc from NYC

blue sky meetings. the worst. please stop calling meetings blue sky meetings.

Jul. 16 2014 11:31 AM
RosieNY from NYC

Daily Agile meetings (software development):15 -20 minutes and everybody is standing up.

Jul. 16 2014 11:27 AM
Blanche from Brooklyn

I worked for a large financial company for many years. Meetings are impossible in a culture of fear, e.g., right after a merger or some other instability. In that culture, people either won't talk ("Keep your head down") or use meetings to showboat. The company offered a course in Navigating Office Politics, created by a Buddhist monk turned career coach. It said that we were all somewhere on a scale of Right vs. Left. The Rights love meetings. They see work as all about the individual, how can I get recognized, how can I get to the top. The Lefts see it as all about the idea. They see meetings as keeping them from the work. I am a left. The course taught me to how to work with people who think like Rights. If you want something out of a meeting, you must do your homework and start lobbying in advance. Get most of the attendees sold on your idea before the meeting. Nothing new should be said in meetings. And Never Wound the King. If someone above you on the org chart says something stupid, admire their perspective before you gently suggest some of the problems you see.

Jul. 16 2014 11:26 AM
Cervantes

did you'all perchance have a meeting, on how to more elegantly choreograph this segment?

Jul. 16 2014 11:23 AM
hw from NJ

so wish I could ditch the meeting I run today. Just got a message from a key player who said they couldn't attend / give update report because she has to go to ANOTHER meeting. Seriously? Progress depends on this person's update report. Just write it up and send it to me. Have been spinning my wheels and getting no cooperation for months yet I have to keep having these meetings. I've tried changing tactics, innovative methods to communicate, get folks involved but they all sit there and don't contribute or produce assigned work. I've been assigned this role by admin but with no support. Meetings can be productive only if everyone agrees to work

Jul. 16 2014 11:19 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be: 'meetings.'" - Dave Barry

Jul. 16 2014 11:19 AM
hw from NJ

so wish I could ditch the meeting I run today. Just got a message from a key player who said they couldn't attend / give update report because she has to go to ANOTHER meeting. Seriously? Progress depends on this person's update report. Just write it up and send it to me. Have been spinning my wheels and getting no cooperation for months yet I have to keep having these meetings. I've tried changing tactics, innovative methods to communicate, get folks involved but they all sit there and don't contribute or produce assigned work. I've been assigned this role by admin but with no support. Meetings can be productive only if everyone agrees to work

Jul. 16 2014 11:18 AM
ef

probably won't be able to call but...

i have found that the key to a productive meeting is to have a very specific goal for the meeting that is stated very clearly at the beginning and reiterated whenever the discussion goes off track. sometimes that requires thinking a meeting or two ahead. for example we might say that we will meet next week to schedule the new project. what do we need to know in order to do that? our goad for this meeting is for everyone to leave with an with a clear set of questions to answer in preparation for that meeting. once the goal is met the meeting is over even if takes only ten minutes. hope this helps.

Jul. 16 2014 11:04 AM
RosieNY from NYC

Best part of being self-employed: No more useless meetings!!!

What makes a good meeting: a real need to have a meeting with a clear and precise meeting agenda sent out ahead of time, time limits and focused meeting runner trained in effective critical thinking and effective problem solving . Even better meeting: online!

Jul. 16 2014 10:56 AM

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