The new business meeting

I've now had the extraordinary experience of being at official, work meetings where over half the people in the room are "on" their phones (texting, emailing, etc.) well over half of the time they are at the meeting.

This is absurd. (And no, no one in the past, in my experience, ever brought newspapers to a meeting and read them throughout the proceedings.) Either the meeting is important, and the participation of these people is important, and they should put down their phones, or the meeting is not important... and thus shouldn't be held! -- or these people don't need to participate, and thus shouldn't be required to come.

Comments

  1. My experience in a large Spanish corporation in meetings.

    As a younger person, or midlevel person, you are supposed to be absolutely attentive, or your superior will scold you privately.

    But many of the directors tune out completely on their phones, and randomly jump back in and out of the meeting. There are some senior people who are just waiting in the meeting just to say their bit, not listen. Odd, because I was left with the impression that the most senior you are in an organization, the worse your behaviour gets.

    Smaller tech companies have almost removed meetings. Just say it in a private channel on Slack, and that is enough.

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  2. "But many of the directors tune out completely on their phones, and randomly jump back in and out of the meeting. There are some senior people who are just waiting in the meeting just to say their bit, not listen. "

    Yup: there is something intrinsically wrong with a meeting like this: either it was totally pointless, or the attendance of many of these senior people was pointless.

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  3. This describes most of my meetings at work. Even nearly a decade ago, one of the first people to have what we called a "Crackberry," the most senior person in many of our meetings, would spend most of the meeting clicking away on her tiny keyboards, and was not taking notes on it.

    I skip a lot of meetings that I think will be pointless for me to attend, with no consequences. I also cut off meetings I've called when we're done, even if it's only ten minutes.

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