While meetings can be so pervasive at times that they prevent any actual work from being done in a day, they are where the work needed is defined, so I don't view them as wrong if they have a goal and stay on task. The pleasantries referred to earlier is a source of real frustration for me because nothing gets done during that time. The only meetings I truly despise are the ones where nothing gets done.
One style of meeting I encounter is run by the "dictator". The organizer has to be open to ideas of how to accomplish the goal and not just be there to dictate to everyone else. Too many times I've gone to a meeting and the organizer (who doesn't understand data) has already made up their mind an is only demanding how things get done, even though the hours allocated aren't anywhere close to what's required. They should be defining what's required and leave the "how" to the people who understand how to accomplish things.
Another style is run by the "generalizer". They're the ones where the organizer talks in vague generalities designed to keep everyone confused and really define nothing. They avoid answering direct questions and won't commit to anything. Afterwards, the generalizer sends out minutes in a lengthy email that still describe nothing, but in their mind, they've done their job and are wondering why the work isn't done yet.
Ironically, the dictator and generalizer are the ones who will later complain about the cost of all the time spent on their project. What's their answer? Why, it's to have another meeting to talk about it.
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