Posted: 20th August, 2013
The ideal is that Team Meetings are platforms for getting work done. A way for a group of people to deliver on their Common Endeavour, a demonstration of what they can achieve together as opposed to separately. Performing is key.
Everyone is engaged, excited to be there, stretched, challenged and challenging.
I believe in everything I have written above and I work to help my team coaching clients to get there but practical experience shows that most team meetings are more likely to fall into the following categories;
Each meeting and every agenda is about the past - last week, last quarter, last year. What we did, why we did it, what worked, what didn't.
There is of course value in review and reflection but teams don't thrive and get energised on the past - teams perform on the now and for the future. Death by looking in the rear view mirror
I better give some context. This is an Irish tv show (but I am sure every country has one like it) where members of the public win, via a scratch card, a place on a TV show with the chance to win ten to fifty thousand euro via a spinning wheel and other random non skill related games.
But this program is so bad that despite the chance of winning big money most people I know would say that if they won the opportunity to be on the show that they would ask someone else to represent them as the personal shame and humiliation of appearing on it would be too much. Even the presenters (large L for light, small e for entertainers) don't want to be there.
I see lots of Winning Streak meetings - no one wants to be there (watch the body language and the volume of email done during the meeting) or they keep sending someone else in their place. The kinder team members say things like "its only an hour a week", the less kind add up those 52 hours a year and day dream (while in the meeting) about how they could have been better spent.
The format is dull and unimaginative, no one knows the purpose of the meeting and no real work is done so there is no value.
It is all about me showing everyone how clever I am and maybe, as a bonus, showing how clever you are not. People grab every opportunity to hold the microphone and convince themselves and others how great they are.
While one person is talking, everyone else is preparing their own speech or looking for attack points in what is being said.
Being visible to the boss is the key objective of a few while the silent majority are ....silent...either because they don't want to play the game or the risk of being stabbed in the back is too high. And the boss - they are either blind or get a kick from the fake hero worship.
Concepts such as common purpose, common accountability, common responsibility flee after the first meeting.
This is a comedy game show populated with celebrates. And from there it just descends into chaos and madness with the resulting look of confusion and nervousness on the faces of the celebs.
I love it as a show but as a team meeting nothing is ever achieved in the chaos of is the meeting on or not, who is or is not attending, will the boss turn up and what will be today's crisis or key imperative compared to the different crisis and key imperative of the week before and the week before.
No team norms, no acceptable or unacceptable behaviour and often just turns into a bitching and moaning session.
So which tv shows do the meetings you attend resemble?