Top Reasons Employers Love Meetings
Employers are inherently suspicious. Employers love meetings because then they can see what you’re doing. As long as your eyes are open, you take notes and laugh at appropriate moments, employers thinks you are engaged in the meeting and, therefore, “working”. What they don’t realize is that the notes are really your grocery list and the appropriate laughter is a biological reflex that occurs when people’s brain cells rapidly evaporate after long term exposure to useless information. Hehehe.
Employers like to remind you of “Who’s Boss” (not the 90’s sitcom) In order to give meaning to organizational charts many employers like to put on social displays of their leadership, and what better way to do so than in a meeting of captive subordinates. We are not unlike gorillas in this sense. Gorillas are led by a troop leader, whose job it is to assign duties and write up members up for violating office dress code. When something threatens the troop leader, such as someone lunging for his job or decreased productivity the day after “The Bachelor” airs, the troop leader beats his chest with cupped hands to make a loud noise, screams, bares his teeth, and then charges forward. Sometimes he breaks off branches and shakes them at the intruder.
Doesn’t this sound like every meeting you’ve ever been to?
Your boss just came back from a leadership symposium. If your next meeting sounds like a cross between a football play and an infomercial to get rich quick, know that this particular meeting was called to show what an overnight “visionary” your employer has become.
“Okay, gang – going forward, we’re going to step it up and start thinking outside of the box in order to raise revenue and increase profitability. We need to drill down in our tool box so that we can move the needle and create game-changing momentum. We will create a paradigm shift to put us at the top of the market. Jones, reach out and have fiscal crunch some numbers. Smith, give me a white sheet on the project. We need all hands on deck to dig deep and get the ball rolling so we can close the deal or its back to the drawing board with Plan B.”
Extra points are given to employers who plot it out with “X”s and “O”s on an oversized Post-It chart.
Meetings are productive tools for creating more (golf) time. There are two types of people in every office setting: the delegators and the delegates. If you are not certain which one you are, check your to-do list when you enter the meeting and when you leave. If it is twice as long afterwards, you’re one of the poor schmucks who should avoid meetings at all costs. If, however, you find yourself tossing out your to-do list on your way out the door and heading directly for a golf course, congratulations. You are now the troop leader.
Walk softly, and carry a large branch.