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Matthias Marschall is a software engineer "Made in Germany". His four children make sure that he feels comfortable in lively environments, and stays in control of chaotic situations. A lean and agile engineering lead, he's passionate about continuous delivery, infrastructure automation, and all things DevOps. Matthias is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 38 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Meetings or Trust – Choose Your Weapons

08.12.2011
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Sitting in unnecessary meetings sucks. You know what I’m talking about: A lot of people crammed into one room, half of whom have no business with the discussion. The other half are responsible for the topic, but didn’t bother preparing for the discussion. So why are all these people sitting together? Let’s examine this from an unusual angle…

When You Need Less Meetings

Before we answer the question “why are people sitting together who don’t profit from the meeting”, let’s look at a bright spot: where toxic meetings never happen. What’s different in such an environment? In my experience, meetings with people you trust and care for are either unnecessary because you’re already in the loop and know what they’re up against (because you care), or the meetings are highly productive doing brainstorming, retrospectives, planning (= alignment) or root cause analysis. Everything happens in a relaxed environment where people value each others contributions in time and ideas.

What Leads To Toxic Meetings

If there’s a lack of caring and trust in your team, many organizations default to more meetings. Because people are not interested, the organization tries to force them to pay attention by sticking them together in a meeting. And, if it’s common in for people to finger-point when a problem arises, the organization tries to circumvent this by forcing anyone who might later say “I was not informed” into a meeting – even if half of those in attendance have nothing to do with the discussed matter.

Your Meeting Culture Is Your Trust Meter

Taking all this into account, you can easily measure the trust level in your organization. Are your meetings usually productive? Then you have a culture of trust and caring. If you spend most of your time in toxic meetings this is a strong indication that you’ve a trust issue in your organization. Time to stop those meetings and work on building up trust within your team!

How’s the trust level in your organization? Let us know in the comments!

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Published at DZone with permission of Matthias Marschall, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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