Tuesday, April 15, 2014

30 Thoughts We All Have in Staff Meetings:

Right before the meeting:
1. Arrgh, I’m supposed to be at a meeting in 10 minutes. What the heck is it for, who’s running it, and where is it?

2. Oh no, it's the dreaded staff meeting! I’d better take a look at the agenda and make sure I wasn’t supposed do anything to prepare.
3. Dang – we’re supposed to do status updates. No problem, I’ve got 8 more minutes.

4. I hope there are donuts. Last time there was nothing but bran muffins and fruit. I hate this new wellness stuff. I really miss donuts. Chocolate cover glazed Krispy Creams.
5. I wonder if I can find a box of Krispy Kremes? Are they still in business? I’ll Google it...
6. Oops, now I’m running late. I’ll make up some status on the way there. Hopefully I won’t get called to go first.

During the meeting:
7. Slid in just in time! Better to be right on the dot. Too early means you’ve got too much time on your hands, and too late and you get last pick of the donuts.

8. Oh nooooo– fruit!!  And yogurt! Yuk.
9. OK, who do I sit next to…..

10. Not next to the boss, that’s for sure….
11. Ah, an open chair at the end next to Alex – grab it!

12. OK, I’ve got a few minutes to make up some impressive sounding status…..
13. ….and check my emails….and Buzzfeed….ah, gotta send this one over to Alex 

14. Oh oh, the boss just said something and everyone’s laughing…. I’d better join in.
15. Suck-ups. not. at. all. funny.

16. Hey, incoming, new emails…..and a text from Alex.
17. All right, time to think up a few status updates….they have to be impressive, but not too braggy…. Damn, it’s hard to do this and fake like I’m listening to these other updates at the same time!

18. Oh oh, looks like Dave’s going down in flames! Waaay too much detail, and never, ever admit you’re having a problem!
Pull up, Dave, pull up! Oh no, crash and burn, it’s so hard to watch!
Later in the meeting.....
19. Whoa, backwards freefall! Did I just nod off?

20. Oh oh, they’re all looking at me. Someone must have asked me a question. Fight or flight?! Stall! “I’m not sure I understand the question…what is it that you’re looking for exactly?”
21. Whew, a narrow escape. Boo-ya!

22. And, just in time for my status updates….. here goes nothing, let ‘er rip!
23. So far so good – lot’s of head nods, boss seems interested, in a zone, feeling the flow….

24. OMG, what did I just say? Did that come across as stupid as I think it did? What a dork! Never mind, quick, on to the next update, don’t pause, go, go, go…..
25. Whew. Nailed it. No questions. Left ‘em dazed and confused. Or bored to tears. In any case, on to the next victim - turn quickly and over to you Alex!

26. Whoa, I hope no one just heard my stomach growl! Damn, I’d kill for a donut right now.
27. OK, the end is near and the boss is droning on, time for some nodding, assiduous and ostentatious note-taking, occasional exclamations and eye contact with others.. and a snarky text to Dave.

28. 2 minutes to go, we are nearing the finish line, victory lap, and I don’t have a single action item! Poor Dave – he just got appointed chair of a task force.
29. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….. and the meeting is o-vah! Freedom! Let my people go!

30. OK, time for a little obligatory post meeting hob-nobbing (avoid eye contact with Dave, he's looking for task force volunteers), and then I’m off in search of a box chocolaty-glazed heaven!

For a more serious look at how to have better staff meetings, see:
10 No Bull Tips on How to Lead a Team Meeting

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