Nothing to do? Go to a meeting!

My God, there ARE people who actually like meetings.

I missed this when it bubbled up in late January ... musta been stuck in a meeting ....

Actually, the work world can divided in two camps: those who find meetings interruptions and hassles and those who find them "welcome events" -- or those with something else to do, and those who don't.

So says some research by a team led by Steven Rogelberg, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte industrial and organizational psychologist. (It's almost comical how the reports of this research put two spins on it: "Some people like meetings" or "Meetings are bad for you."

In general, the research found, goal-focused people find meetings a distraction and ones with a more "flexible orientation' find meetings a more organic welcome event. This second group's well-being increases from meetings even if they bitch about them.

He put it this way in an article in Science Daily:

"People who are high in accomplishment striving look at meetings more from the perspective of seeing them as barriers to getting real work done," Rogelberg said. "But the others may view meetings as a way to structure their day or a way to network and socialize. As a result, these people see meetings as a good thing."

But he adds, they won't admit to liking meetings very easily; it's not PC.

Who likes meetings most? The person holding the meeting. Duh!

For others, more meetings were associated with increased feelings of fatigue and workload. It's just a hassle.

You're tired and stressed?. Blame a meeting!

Course, there are some interesting things that can be done in a meeting.

I often think meetings could be made more effective with a little workplace violence.

Ethan Kaplan, director of technology for Warner Bros Records, has some insightful reasons why meetings are bad in his "Vampire meetings" post. I see a lot of "The Kaplan Family Dinner Factor" (KFDF):and "Its Not Me Its You Factor" (INMIYF). Read his blog entry to figure those out.

I did find two recurrent tips for good meetings: An agenda and food. I interpret that as have a purpose and a payoff.

Quotable:

Bad meetings are a cultural malady that senior executives pass on to new employees. Long pointless meetings are useful in that they keep incompetent people from interfering with those who are working ...

-- Steve Kaye in 13 Comments on Bad Meetings

Here a couple good tips on how to be in one of those rare "good meetings:"

What happened in the worst meeting you've ever been in?