Don’t fall into the consensus trap
Hi all –
When Drift started working from home, I shared my thoughts on meetings with the team (I hate them) and how to hold a successful one if you absolutely must.
Now three months later, it seems like we’re slipping into old habits. I get that since we’re working remotely, we’re not able to quickly walk over to a co-worker’s desk or catch them in the hall. But I guarantee that many of the meetings being scheduled aren’t necessary. We have so many other forms of asynchronous communication (Drift Video!) that can be used in place of a meeting.
You can read more on my thoughts about meetings here, but I want to call out two points in particular:
- If you absolutely must have a meeting, keep it small. Unless it’s a department-wide meeting, you don’t need 10 people to attend. Ask yourself – are all these people here because they are consulting, informing or advising? Will everyone need to speak? If not, send a video update to people who don’t need to attend. It’s important to seek feedback, but don’t fall into the consensus trap.
- Improve the relationships of people in the room. This is a rule Paul English taught me. He said “If you want to create a high-performing, scalable company, you need to always strengthen the trust of the team, so that people can effectively amplify and strengthen good ideas from others. Watch the interactions in your meetings carefully. Do you notice that men interrupt women more than women interrupt men? Fix shit like that. Make sure all capable people get a voice at all meetings.” This is always important – but even more so when we can’t all be in the same room.
There’s no doubt in my mind that people are feeling overwhelmed by meetings and video calls. So we all need to work harder than ever to make sure we’re getting what we need to get done without adding unnecessary meetings on top of it all.
How are you using asynchronous communication to keep in touch with your team and avoid needless meetings while remote?