What We Can Learn About Meetings From the Rare People Who Actually Enjoy Them

Complaining about meetings is the unofficial sport of many workplaces. In fact, according to a recent Harris poll, sponsored by the online collaboration company Clarizen, 17 percent of employees said they would literally rather watch paint dry than attend a meeting, and eight percent would rather undergo a root canal. However, every now and again you come across a person, or even a group of people, who actually really enjoy meetings. Maybe we can learn something important about ourselves, or at least about how we collaborate, from thinking about their approach. Here are a few ideas to consider.

Use Parkinson’s Law to Save You From Useless Meeting Hell

You may not be familiar with Parkinson's Law by name, but chances are you're well acquainted with the concept. Cyril Parkinson was a British naval historian and author turned public administration and management scholar. His most popular book, Parkinson's Law: The Pursuit of Progress, was published in 1958. The fundamental ideas that shaped his theories still apply today, and can help guide us as we aim to manage our time more effectively, and conduct better meetings.

‘I Understand.’ How to Agree to Disagree

Every once in a while, whether you're working with a difficult client, meeting with your boss, or completing a project with a co-worker, you're bound to find yourself feeling a little stuck. It can be quite challenging when both parties have expressed their ideas and perspectives clearly, and you've heard each other out, and you still disagree -- profoundly. You need to come to a place of resolution and move forward, but right now it feels impossible to find common ground. So what can you do?

Getting Heard: 5 Tips for Meetings

Working women, have you ever attempted to present an idea in a meeting, only to be interrupted, shut down, or ignored, seemingly based on nothing more than your gender? If so, you have experienced "speaking while female," a term coined by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant to describe women's frequent experience of having their thoughts discredited by male co-workers and bosses. While you can't singlehandedly undo generations of gender bias, there are certain things you can do to improve your chances of being heard.

How to Be a Better Listener

Part of your job at work is to listen, which sounds easier than it is. With so much emphasis on fulfilling action items, and on productivity overall, the art of listening well is increasingly undervalued in the modern American workplace.

How to Enter a Room Like You Own the Place

If you have a big job interview or presentation coming up, you've probably already thought a lot about how to make a good first impression. You know you need to dress professionally, for example, and make eye contact. Perhaps you've even thought about things like the strength of your handshake or the genuineness of your facial expressions. But you probably never thought about one key ingredient for winning over your audience: the way you enter a room.

The Ugly Truth About Meetings [infographic]

If you feel like you spend half your working hours sitting in a meeting, you're not alone. According to research compiled by Fuze, an online meetings service provider, there are 25 million meetings every day in the US. It's probably safe to say that they're not all fueling creativity and driving business results.

Plan a Productive Business Lunch

Lunchtime is work-time at many offices. If you're not hunched over your keyboard, typing while eating, you're probably at a lunch meeting, schmoozing while eating. If you're stuck planning one of these work-and-eat sessions, you're also in charge of making sure it's a good use of everyone's time. So how can you do three things at once?

3 Tips for Running a Meeting That Actually Works

When was the last time you actually had a meeting that accomplished something? Unless you own the company, chances are that you can't make every meeting a productive one, but when you are in charge, there's a lot you can to do to make meetings a better use of everyone's time.