Manager’s meetings can and generally are days to avoid. Although it will seem to your team like you are having an easy day with lunch laid on and everyone talking about how wonderful the company is, the reality is that you are, in fact, having an easy day with lunch laid on and everyone talking about how wonderful the company is whilst in a kind of trance like stupor induced by boredom. In this article we are going to discuss how to survive a boring manger’s meeting.
1) Make traveling as easy as possible – Manager’s meetings tend to get held in the most distant and inaccessible of locations. Spending half an hour the week before working out how you are going to get there and back is definitely time well spent. If you drive then offer another manager who doesn’t a lift. If you don’t, try and arrange a lift from someone who does.
2) Say as little as possible – Senior management will tell you at the start of the meeting that it is your meeting. They will say that if the manager’s aren’t doing 70% of the talking then the meeting is a failure. They will then proceed to talk for 95% of the meeting without caring about your opinion. Humour them. Don’t talk, just listen.
3) Don’t ask questions unless absolutely necessary – In line with point 2 is the idea that under no circumstances should you ask a question unless it is vital (e.g. can I take a toilet break?). If you ask questions then the topics will run over their allotted time slots and you will all go home late.
4) Nod a lot – Since you are not going to talk it is best to nod your head a lot. This will serve to indicate to the senior management team that you are listening attentively and are taking everything in.
5) Write doodles on a piece of paper – This will make it look like you are taking notes and all the senior managers will be commenting on how involved you are in the meetings. If you are particularly artistic you can make caricatures of the senior management team! But be careful! don’t let them see what you are writing.
The secret to surviving boring manager’s meetings is not to try and make them more interesting but to make them as short as possible. You don’t control the meeting and have no say over its direction, merely over the time it takes. Let senior managers do their thing and get doodling.
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