Malignant Meeting Mindsets #WILTW

This is the 126th #WILTW

When starting a new job in a senior position, for a (short) period of time you are blessed with a relatively free diary, defined workload and a bit of breathing space.

This does not last long.

Time management is a skill and an art. Some are better at it than others. However anyone who claims not to have some time management problems aren’t busy enough.

I have a sinusoidal pattern of time pressure. This fluctuates from being on top of e-mails, ahead of deadlines and having spare capacity to being in a nadir of behind on just about everything and needing to persistently sprint to keep up. Things reach a head when every meeting becomes a heart sink moment as you know you have a thousand other things to be done. And then just at the point I tend to get on top of things, and claim I’ll never let this happen again, the pattern seems to repeat with a metronomic frequency.

I was prompted to question my very involvement in a meeting this week as I realised despite being physically present; I mentally wasn’t. In writing this blog I thought I’d been unique in coining the term ‘meeting mindset.’ It appears this is not a new phenomena.

Via Time Management Ninja
Via Time Management Ninja

Apparently there are 4 meeting mindsets:

Vacationer (using the meeting to get out of what they should be doing)

Hostage (doesn’t want to be there)

Expert (feels they will learn nothing new)

and Explorer (keen to solve a new challenge)

I relate to the first three on a far too frequent a basis. But whose fault is that? Your mindset before entering a meeting must have a huge impact on your participation in it. I suspect just checking your own state of mind in the preceding couple of minutes may be beneficial. It is not going to make you any less busy but it might stop the meeting being an utter waste of time.

What did you learn this week? #WILTW

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4 thoughts on “Malignant Meeting Mindsets #WILTW”

  1. In a former life I, too, had to go to many a meeting that II was not invested in. The quality of most meetings is reliant on the quality of the chairperson. Why should we wait ‘just one more minute’ for the last person to turn up? Start on time and stick to the topics on the agenda.

    I loved the idea of the West Wing meeting. All meeting should be carried out standing up with no chairs and no prepared pages of notes. It’s the only way to actually get anything done.

  2. No laptops or phones allowed to be taken out unless responding to calls. Just pen and paper along with the no chairs rule would allow people to be more involved and the meeting more productive.

  3. Thanks Damian
    Agree. Many hospital meetings are akin to self emolliation, but slower.
    meetings shouldn’t be about the process more than the content

    Alas, as somebody who wants to create real change within an organisation they appear to be the mechanism by which stuff happens
    So we must suck in a breath and partake in the tedium from time to time


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