20 Things I Learned From Meetings

  • Nothing is produced in a meeting, save boredom and animosity, which is more of a by product really.

  • A good meeting is nonexistent, but the better ones are the shorter ones.

  • Smile. Nod. Smile. Nod.

  • Only people who don't know about the problem or wouldn't be able to fix it are invited to the meeting.

  • The only real object in the meeting is to get out without being blamed for anything.

  • Having a meeting about an upcoming meeting is both absurd and too often a reality.

  • Laughter has no place in meetings. (see # 3)

  • The luxury of the conference room is directly proportional to the length of the meeting and inversely proportional to it's substance.

  • Managers train in 'meeting speak' which is the skill to talk for hours and say nothing at all.

  • No white board is safe in a managers presence.

  • The smell of dry erase pens help them to think more clearly.

  • No one understands the diagram on the white board. (see # 3)

  • No one wants your opinion.

  • Meetings are not the place for solutions.

  • Always have a list of anti-meeting excuses handy. “I have work to do.” will not cut it.

  • Meetings are rated not by what is accomplished, but rather by how many people attend. You're just a seat filling pawn.

  • Always bring a notepad and pen. No one really knows why.

  • If you're lucky, it will only go an hour longer.

  • If it weren't for meeting you might actually have time to get your work done.

  • There's a meeting about your recent lack of performance next week.

  • Free free to add your own revelations.


    jenylu said...

    "A good meeting is nonexistent, but the better ones are the shorter ones."

    People who can run a meeting efficiently are a wonderful asset to society -- too bad they are so rare!

    Windy City Survivors said...

    I used to hate meetings at work, especially the days that I was tired.

    "Never close your eyes for a second in a meeting, you might not open them again, and you never know when you might get asked a question."

    kludge said...


    I had one boss who was new what a good meeting was. Short, sweet and productive.

    I think his style has made me even more cynical of all the bosses I've worked for.

    kludge said...

    WSC -

    I like it! Easily #21

    I worked with a guy who actually did fall asleep in a meeting. He had no concept of polite attentiveness....

    Ando said...

    "None of us is as dumb as all of us."

    Unfortunately I'm not the one who came up with that.

    kludge said...


    Ah Yes... A Classic

    SJ said...

    If it can be said in a memo, don't hold a meeting!

    thecodewitch said...

    Interesting that all these things hold true for any meeting anywhere in the world.

    Here's an addition that might be a little redundant:

    "Holding a meeting about addressing a concern is a good way of presenting the appearance something will be done for just long enough for it to be forgotten."

    The point "No one wants your opinion" has a corollary:

    "If you're ever asked your opinion, your opinion and analysis is still not wanted. The correct answer is the shortest answer that makes the questioner look good."

    (I also just wanted to say the word corollary)

    I think "No one understands the diagram on the white board" is especially true.

    Awesome post! I would digg this if there was a digg link.

    kludge said...


    Hey, thanks first off for the link, and second for stopping by.

    "The correct answer is the shortest answer that makes the questioner look good."

    This is right on! I see you're a meeting pawn too!