Don't (just) destroy all meetings

Another Meeting. You can practically taste the collective resistance, and perhaps your own desire to eliminate that time commitment, too. “Couldn’t this be a report?”, suggests a colleague. “Or we can have a Slack bot to prompt folks to check in on this”, puts in another.

“Why don’t we just get rid of all the meetings?

Why not, indeed? It’s easy to poll folks and get answers for why one meeting or another needs to persist: some need for data sharing, a guaranteed periodic touchpoint for everyone involved, the prescribed version of the software development lifecycle framework, visibility into the current status of work in progress across reporting lines. There’s likely also to be some unreported desires involved, too: social connection amongst coworkers, some time set aside as a break from delivery responsibilities.

Those desires and needs are all very real, and you risk them going unmet when you change or destroy a meeting.

By all means: be deliberate about respecting, protecting, and valuing your time and your team’s. Deleting a recurring meeting can be incredibly powerful & deeply satisfying. But before you do, spend the effort to uncover all the needs that occurrence was addressing, not just the stated purpose–or you’ll soon find that time blocked back out of your calendar with a vengeance.

Did that make your day a little better?

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