Vocab Rehab – Common Problems in meetings

There are lots of reasons why we all hate meetings. But by avoiding some of these common traps, you can have meetings that are efficient and effective. Don’t forget to read the definitions and examples below the post!

  • Late starts – when the meeting begins after the scheduled time.
    • Looks like it’s going to be another late start for today’s meeting. Joe is still not here!
  • Over-runs – when the meeting fails to finish at the scheduled time.
    • We can’t have another over-run at tomorrow’s meeting because I have to leave at the scheduled time.
  • Groupthink – the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group, resulting typically in unchallenged, poor-quality decision-making
    • Hiring a more diverse staff is a great way for our company to shy away from this model of groupthink that is halting our innovation.
  • Hidden agenda – when someone has a secret agenda or intentions
    • I feel like there is a lack of transparency occurring. He always seems like he has a hidden agenda and it makes me not trust him.
  • Inadequate preparation – attending a meeting without preparing beforehand the necessary information to discuss the topic at hand.
    • It’s clear that there was a level of inadequate preparation that took place and that’s why we were unable to reach any real decisions on the day of the meeting.
  • Communication barriers – things that make people reluctant to share and/or talk
    • There is a clear communication barrier taking place between the manager and his team. I think they are afraid to say anything in case of getting fired.
    • We need to find a good translator or hire someone who speaks fluent German in order to get past the communication barriers we are facing with our international partners.
  • Communication breakdowns – misunderstandings
    • Knowing the language but not understanding the culture and the meanings behind that language can cause some severe communication breakdowns that can lead to real disputes in meetings.
    • We are having some real communication breakdowns because the employee job descriptions are not clearly outlined.
  • Point-scoring – when there is competition between colleagues for attention, a new job, recognition, etc.
    • I’m so annoyed with Janet and Dave continuously trying to point-score with the boss during the meeting. I don’t know why they can’t share the success of their work.
  • Pulling rank – when someone uses their status to get what they want
    • Although most of us voted to move the deadline back a week, the boss pulled-rank and said that we needed to maintain the original date.
  • Time wasting – causing someone to spend time doing something that is unnecessary or does not produce any benefit.
    • Reviewing information in a meeting that could be given in an email is a time wasting method of information sharing.

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