Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Black holes of meetings

Here are some of the black holes (points of no return / eternal drains of energies, time and resources) of meetings or group discussions: (I write this sitting in a hall attending a meeting and concretely experiencing this agony)
  1. Lack of capable coordination or moderation. The inability to really guide a discussion and elicit the best of the participants, is perhaps the worse thing that can happen to a meeting. It is doomed right from the word 'go'.
  2. Mediocre planning and preparation of study drafts: If the agenda and the study documents are not drafted well, leading the group to reflective thinking and sharing, then confusion abounds.
  3. Fixated ideas: Discussions do not lead anywhere if participants are so fixated that they do not even listen to others.
  4. Lack of an integral picture: Leaving out the bigger picture of what ultimately we sit for discussion, we get lost in petty issues. We end up correcting, editing, rewriting the given text (if that is badly done, that's the end!). Dealing with specific points, we fail to see the origin, the flow, the interconnection... the integral picture.
There may be more of these, but these are what I draw from my immediate experience!

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