Hello everyone! I’ve just come back from a meeting that literally made me want to rip my own ears off. If there had been a window in the subterranean dungeon we were sitting in, I would have flung myself through it and fallen peacefully into a row of thorny bushes (side note: why does anybody plant thorny bushes right beside their house or building?). I could go on, but I think you get the point.
And because I know you’re eager to aggravate everyone you work with just as much as the next person, I thought I’d share a few time-honored techniques. If you like the process of actually watching all the hope and joy leave a person’s face, then get ready for some fun times!
Schedule 1-on-1 Meetings That Could Have Been Accomplished with a Phone Call or Email! There’s no substitute for personal contact. Or wait a second…hold on…yes there is! It’s called a phone call or an email, especially if the issue is a simple question/answer deal. This technique is even more effective if you’ve scheduled the meeting at a coffee shop or somewhere off-site, since it will eat up an extra 30 minutes of travel time and a half gallon of gas, which last I checked was running about $50/gallon. Thanks for helping jumpstart the economy!
Make Everyone at Your Meeting Talk Their Recent Successes and Applaud the Recent Successes of Everyone Else! I know someone whose every monthly meeting involves a circle of self-affirmation where each team member has to talk about what he/she has done well this month, and then everyone else says things like, “Good job!” and “Way to open doors for us!” And I know it’s true, because the person who told it to me is a really bad liar.
Listen, everyone needs validation, and everyone needs to feel like what they do is important and appreciated. But everyone does not need that validation to come in the form of, “Hey, everybody, here’s what I did good yesterday. Please listen and then praise me for it!” This technique will appeal to roughly half of your team and seriously annoy the other half. But why should you care? Figuring out each of your employee’s particular motivators and structuring things accordingly is a whole lot of work.
Schedule Meetings at the End of the Day on Friday! “For the love of everything holy, please just let me go home! It’s not that I don’t like my job, I just want to see my family!” “Not yet. First we need to talk about all the issues that we’ll be dealing with next week. I know you won’t be doing anything about them over the weekend, but I’d like you to start worrying about everything the second you walk out the door.”
Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I’m going to go find a drink. Or four. After what I just experienced, it has to happen.