How “I Hate Meetings” Can Be Hurting Your Leadership

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When did the “I hate meetings” movement begin?

Really!

When did this start?

When did it become the fashionable go-to statement when leaders gather to hear them say to one another, “I just hate meetings!” “Oh ya?! I hate them more!” “Well I REALLY hate meetings!”

When You Say ‘I Hate Meetings’ Your Team Hears Something Different.

Leaders, we need to stop saying this, because when we say, “I hate meetings”, what our teammates hear is, “I don’t want to spend time with these people.”

Really.

Think about it. If you overhear your team leader look at their appointment calendar and say, “What? Another meeting with the team? Why do I have to always meet with these people?” you could easily translate that ranting into, “I just don’t like spending time with them.”

It’s Not About Good Meetings vs Bad Meetings

Now, many leaders will protest at this point and will say, “It’s only bad meetings I don’t like.”

Fair point. And there are thousands of books and articles written about how to hold good meetings. This is not one of those articles.

Do They Know How You Really Feel?

This piece is making one single point; When your team believes you don’t like having meetings, they believe you don’t want to spend time with them. And it hurts your team’s culture, and ultimately their performance.

Your team runs on the fuel of your personal approval and even affection for them. In fact, I’ll take it a step further. Your team runs on the fuel of your love for them.

That’s right. They need to know that you love them. In the 2015 Global Leadership Summit, GLS founder Bill Hybels spoke on the 5 Intangibles of Leadership, one of which he identified as “self-sacrificing love”. Believe it or not, for a team to function at its highest level, the members of the team need to know that they are loved by their leader.

And one of the surest ways to pop that balloon is to make it known that you don’t like spending time with them.

So, by all means, make sure your meetings are effective, well-run and purposeful. But (and here’s the kicker), even if your meetings suck, don’t let your team know you don’t like to meet with them.

Let them know that the highlight of your day is to be able spend time with them.

And let’s turn those “I hate meetings” chants into “I love my team” rants.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Willow Creek Association. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave & Willow and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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