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Here’s to meetings

by Søren Holmberg - Owner

Everyone are dreading meetings, but why?

A supposedly leaked email by every techies favourite guru [sic] Elon Musk is now making its way through LinkedIn. I don’t for a second believe it originates from the controversial Tesla and Space X owner, but never mind. In the post, the author is lashing out at meetings. Kicking in an open door, the supposedly leaked email, is a rather tedious list of things not to do with meetings.

While some of it is of course true, albeit bleeding obvious, some advice is downright stupid and very counter productive. Let us jump right to that.

#5 in the post says:

Instead of meetings:

- Send a text

- Send an email

- Communicate on a discord or slack channel

If there is one lesson I have learned, in my nearly 20 years as a Project Manager, it is this: None of the above can replace the understanding created when meeting face to face. Not even an online call. I have been taking over countless of projects that have been stuck and the reason in 90% of the cases was: Lack of communication and distorted communication due to lack of understanding. Once I have facilitated actual, physical meetings and people have gained an understanding of each other, the projects are usually back on track.

Considering the well known fact that non-verbal communication accounts for 80% of the messages we deliver, it is surprising to find such resistance towards actual meetings. Only through human interaction, we can understand each other fully.

Maybe it boils down to the fact that especially the tech industry is populated by introverts, who’d rather be run down by a bus, than have to communicate in person. Maybe it boils down to the fact that many meetings indeed are poorly led and people do feel they waste their time. (By Lord I have been in countless of those too). Maybe it boils down to the new work-from-home culture, fuelled by the pandemic. Who knows… 

Regardless of the reason(s), the fact remains: We cannot replace physical interaction, neither through emails, chats, video calls or [oh the horror] the Metaverse.

So, here’s to meetings. The personal interaction where one can see, sense and feel each other. Well facilitated meetings, where an honest and open discussion takes place. Where understanding is created and bonding flourishes. 

In my experience, spending the time to meet in person, is a good and sound investment that comes back tenfold, when times are tough.


Source: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/paul-storm-560360254_ai-digitaltransformation-technology-activity-7194365516076007424-v3AU?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

Photo by fauxels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-people-doing-handshakes-3183197/


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