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Talking it through; or, The value of meetings

Meetings are rightly maligned as unproductive timesinks, but I’ve recently been reminded of the things you can gain by simply talking things through together with a whole team:

  • A sense of togetherness develops as decisions – even if they’re minor ones – are seen to be influenced by the team;
  • Constraints, compromises and trade offs become visible: decisions that look stupid from the outside make perfect sense from the inside;
  • More eyes on the target means more problems get highlighted earlier, and more solutions offered;
  • There are more chances for people to show insight, demonstrate leadership and offer to take responsibility;
  • There are more opportunities to observe how people do the above – who joins in, who switches off, who brings energy and encouragement and who slows things down;
  • The act of planning with the team models the process;
  • Delegation can happen immediately without time spent on long explanations of what’s needed: the spec can be decided, written and assigned to a team member in the meeting;
  • Meetings act as a forcing function for getting things done, and for keeping on top of to-do lists and dependencies.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...