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Do Meetings Make Us Dumber?

I just read Randy Mears blog post “The Trouble With Meetings” over on EDS’ Next Big Thing Blog, and it got me thinking (no comments, please!)
One comment really caught my eye: “Most meetings, however, are not engineered for decision making — if they are engineered at all.  They are designed to achieve the politically correct nirvana of “consensus” — a euphemism to avoid saying “none of us wanted our name on the idea.”

I think Mears’ blog, and the original MSNBC article made some good points, though I thought it was interesting that neither commented on extroverted personalities vs. introverted personalities. 

I remember a previous job I had where there was a required weekly meeting.

One guy, who attended every week (andwas NOT the sharpest tool in that particular shed) was one of these loud, booming, bragging kinda fellas, and it seemed like, no matter how inane his idea or observation was, it usually became policy. Mainly because no one else was willing to out shout or out last him.

The quiet guys rarely had much chance for input, so when we wanted good insight we went and found themlater, and got their thoughts. Friday’s meetings basically became one guy’s brag/vent fest, while the rest of us just showed up for donuts.

Believe me, by the end of each meeting, we ALL felt dumber!

What has been your experience with meetings? What makes them effective or not?




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