PHEATURE Phriday 2: Our Obsession With Meetings

PHEATURE Phriday 2: Our Obsession With Meetings

Hey All! Happy Friday the 13th! I’m back after an unannounced day off earlier this week (done for my own sanity) with another PHEATURE Phriday and some exciting news. The nameless, faceless person who owned the domain name I wanted for this blog when I started it months ago forgot to renew (or more likely whoever bought the domain to sit on it forgot to renew), and after a small purchase on WordPress, I can finally christen this blog! You can still get here using or, but now following your instincts when looking for my page will actually get you here instead of to a error page! Trust me, if you know the kind of week I’ve had you’d know how much of a win this is for me right now… but enough about that…

What am I featuring this week? Everyone’s favorite part of the workday, the ever-present meeting (and in most cases why we usually hate them). For some reason lately, folks are turning their attention to meetings, why we have them, and why they can so frequently turn into massive time sucks and sources of frustration. I first became aware of this recent trending topic via an article posted on NPR’s website based on a clip from Morning Edition roughly two weeks ago. The post made some interesting points- including highlighting just how many hours we spend in meetings, preparing for meetings,  having meetings to prepare for other meetings, or otherwise thinking about meetings (9 hours per week on average), noting that meetings are usually more effective at delaying decisions than actually making them, and that in most cases there’s a huge disconnect between the people who plan meetings and those who sit (or struggle) through them on a basis. I’m working on a future piece on meetings in higher ed and what I personally look for in a meeting that will pop up here soon, so I’ll withhold some of my personal judgments on meetings and just say that the piece struck a chord with me and raised questions around what can be done to make meetings that I run and that I participate in more palatable.

The NPR post must have done the same for other people, because earlier this week the following infographics popped up on my social media feeds:



The first comes from a post on on calling meetings; the second comes from a similar post on Huffington Post that I saw yesterday. Both spoke to the introvert in me- while I’m perfectly capable of working with groups of people and of a high level of social interaction, I definitely prefer to do business electronically if there’s no critical reason to meet in person. Finally, I wanted to share a related TED Talk on meetings that was linked on the page with the first infographic- it gets at some of the points that I will eventually talk about in my post on meetings in higher education and sums everything up really well in my opinion. Check it out:

What are your thoughts on our obsession with meetings? Are there specific tactics you use to make meetings that you run productive and enjoyable? Keep an eye out for my post on meetings coming next week and enjoy your weekend!





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