I’m learning that there are some people who just love meetings. Every other suggestion is, “let’s have a meeting about this!”
While I truly believe in making sure everyone involved is on the same page, I don’t think it is necessary to have a meeting about every single topic or just because that time has already been blocked aside for a meeting. A simple phone call, email or face-to-face encounter can have better results than a staff-wide meeting.
I’ve been lucky enough to have supervisors who recognize the runaway meeting trait in others and kindly quash it before it gets out of control. These supervisors have understood that just because we have a regular Monday morning meeting, does not mean we have to have a Monday morning meeting every Monday, especially if nothing has changed.
Meetings can give the illusion of productivity, but in reality are often just wasted time keeping employees from accomplishing real work.
I am attempting not to offend or miscommunicate by learning to choose my words a bit more carefully.
In a recent e-mail I used entire, when I should have used partial. This lead to a misunderstanding for everyone who read the e-mail. After a five-minute follow-up phone call, everything was clear. While I needed to send the e-mail for documentation purposes, I would have just rather addressed the issue over the phone in the first place. As many smart people point out on a regular basis, phone call lead to so much less confusion and there’s little room for misinterpretation, unlike e-mail.
How many e-mails a day do I write without really thinking about each word? Too many to count. As a writer, I would love to write something and then be able to sit on it for an hour, or better yet a day, before publishing or hitting send. E-mail doesn’t afford that luxury.
For the time being, I intend to slowly reread every e-mail before I send it. I hope this added time will be worth it and I will miscommunicate a little less.