Regular readers will know that we think there is too much cooperation going on – and this is the subject of the first episode of our new free podcast series
A subset of this is the seemingly overwhelming urge to share information.
How often on our conference calls do we experience a moment like the one in the cartoon above. People telling us about their activity, sharing project updates and status reports.
In most cases these topics are of little interest to the participants and such information is shared out of an unthinking attachment to teamwork and team meetings – we have to fill the agenda somehow!
As a test, make a grid with meeting or conference call topics down one side and the names of participants along the top. At your next call simply put a tick in the box anytime anyone contributes during a topic.
At the end of the meeting you will have a graphical record of actual contributions. Discuss what it means with the meeting leader and other participants.
Ask participants (individually afterwards so they will not just be polite) for each session how relevant each topic was to them personally and whether they needed to know the information that was shared.
If you are a real spaghetti team they you will need to know what the others are doing in order to do your job.If you are in a star group (and most people are) then sharing this information is a waste of time.
Do a review now on the information you share in your meetings and conference calls – this can save you a lot of time and improve satisfaction with meetings enormously.
Let us know how it goes.