Having been a corporate worker in a cubicle for almost 25 years, I can tell you the most hated activity for me and my coworkers is the meeting. Now I want to be fair. Not all meetings make you feel like you’d rather be sitting in the pits of hell. But close. Since my latest book, Is It Monday Already?! 197 Tools and Tips to Start Living Happier at Work, was published many office professionals have provided great feedback and the number one issue they tell me they all hate at work are boring, unproductive meetings.
In our discussions, here are the top 10 things they absolutely hate:
1. Disorganized Meetings
Attending a meeting that is not organized is torture for the participants. This often happens when the meeting organizer fails to provide information prior to the meeting so people cannot plan properly for things they need to contribute. Or when the organizer doesn’t have a clear plan, doesn’t invite the correct participants or other issues that lead to wasted time and energy because nothing is accomplished.
2. No Agenda
Good meetings all use agendas to stay on track and get things accomplished. Better meetings distribute the agenda with the meeting invitation.
3. No Meeting Goal
The best meetings have a goal on the agenda so all participants understand what the group is trying to accomplish that is the reason for the meeting.
4. Poor Follow Up
At the meeting’s end there should be a clear plan for accomplishing the meeting goal if it wasn’t completely reached during the meeting.
5. Lack of Leadership
Few things are more irritating than a spineless meeting organizer who can’t control their meeting.
6. Critiquing Before All Ideas are Presented
Especially in a brainstorming meeting when you are trying to get fresh ideas and perspectives, letting people start to critique prior to getting imput from all participants will squelch the creativity and confidence and lead to fewer ideas and a less diverse perspective about the solution.
This is a hard one for some people, myself included. But it’s rude and it’s wrong so just stop, in meetings or anywhere else.
8. Domineering Personalities
The meeting leader needs to take responsibility for ensuring their meeting is a safe space for everyone to express their perspectives in order to reach the goal.
9. Late Start
Waiting for key participants is often the reason for this issue in office meetings. Senior management is often the culprit in these situations.
10. Too Long
That feeling when you begin to wonder if the meeting will ever end.
Okay, that’s what I’m hearing. I want to know what you think. Join in the conversation and take this one question survey –>> CLICK HERE.
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A Few of the First Amazon Reader Reviews…
Great tips to survive & thrive at work!
“Is it Monday Already?!” is a fantastic guide to how to best survive and thrive in corporate america. This workplace “bible” should be put in every new hire packet at all jobs. It include very practical but important tips on items such as networking, communication, conflict resolution as well as other very practical elements of the workplace. Not only are the tips great, but the easy to digest and easy to implement suggestions make this book a hit. Every HR manager should consider adding this to the suggested employee reading list, right after the company policy manual.”
Tomorrow is Monday – tips to make work a happy place.
“Is it Monday Already really hits the nail on the head about irritants at work and what each of us can do to avoid making a work faux pas. The book was written for people who have lost their passion for their job and going to work is a chore they do not enjoy. I actually like my job, but read the book because I have several employees who seem unhappy or under-enthused about coming to work and giving it their all. I found the book to be very helpful with tips and resources about what I can do from the management perspective to make the place you spend the majority of your time a likable environment. The book focuses on the three areas (work relationships, corporate processes, and policies that must be followed to get the job done) that can bring an employee work distress and the book truly offers 193 tips of how to make things better through gratitude, kindness, exercise and mindfulness. Ultimately, a person’s happiness is under their own control, but we as coworkers and colleagues can do things to make the environment better for everyone, i.e. there are tips on email and cubicle etiquette as well as dressing for work and office outings. The book also speaks to what each of us needs for personal happiness. I found the book to be wonderfully insightful and plan to start using the tips on tomorrow because it’s Monday already.”
A Guidebook for A Good Office Experience
“Is It Monday Already? is a great reference for anyone working in an office environment. With more than 40 years of work experience, I think this book is a great read for anyone just beginning a career or for those of us who have been working for a while, but find ourselves dreading each morning, because of the people who work with us or the rules the organization requires we follow. I especially appreciate that this book focused on what each individual can do make the work experience more enjoyable (or at least bearable). Yes, maybe a new job is what I really want, but this book gives practical advice about how I can maintain my sanity in the interim. It’s a thought-provoking, “easy” read, with practical and “do-able” suggestions.”
Buy the Book NOW! —>>> CLICK HERE!
I was at a women’s event this weekend chatting it up with a few ladies I had just met. The event host happened to mention I was an author and of course, we started talking about positivity.
I told them the name of the new book, Is It Monday Already?! and folks started volunteering the reasons they dread Mondays. Then one woman broke it down. She told me she didn’t look forward to Mondays because she didn’t like her boss. In believe her exact words were, “I can’t stand my boss!”
Social connections are the number 1 indicator of a person’s happiness on the job. Social connections are your relationships with your coworkers. The most important colleague is your boss. If you don’t have a good relationship with the person you directly report to, more than likely, you don’t like your job.
Workplace research has proven that social connections boost worker productivity and make them more engaged in the job. In addition, there is less job turnover. Having a social connection doesn’t mean you have to be friends. Although that certainly is the case for some people, it can also backfire if something personal begins to impact the job relationship.
Developing social connections with others means being courteous and friendly. It means watching the little micro-aggressions we commit that sometimes we don’t even realize. Small things like saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ on a consistent basis is a good way to start. Being kind and mindful of others is a great way to continue. Because we know those small things make a difference in the work environment.
I asked my new acquaintance, (because you know we started establishing a social connection as she shared her story) why she felt like she did about her boss. She replied, “Because he doesn’t care about me…So I don’t care about him either.” She’s been on the job for less than a year and I doubt if she will be there for more than another year. As soon as it’s acceptable on her resume to transition, she’ll be at a company where her boss respects and values her.
The newest craze to travel from California to the rest of the country is Forest Bathing. Originating in Japan, this activity is referred to as a ‘fitness trend,’ but I think it’s another way to practice mindfulness. I understand that when you forest bathe, you are moving your body, but you’re also doing some powerful things to your brain.
A Washington Post article informs that “Americans spend 87 percent of their time indoors and 6 percent in an enclosed vehicle.” That’s kind of shameful, that we as a nation spend only 7 percent of our time outdoors. It probably contributes to the levels of obesity and poor health conditions in so many people, too.
Forest Bathing is when you go out into nature to slow down and purposefully enjoying the environment, the sounds, the smells and everything you can see. Studies completed on forest bathing, called ‘Shinrin-yoku’ document that the practice makes you healthier. We know that exercise – basic movement really, is what our body needs to function at a high level. It affects our body and our brain. It impacts our longevity. The interesting thing about forest bathing is that it takes the benefits of exercise and movement outdoors to a higher level. In Japan, Shinrin-yoku is considered a medicinal option and is covered by health insurance.
Increased energy, reduced stress and increased accuracy and creativity are all wonderful byproducts of movement outdoors. As pointed out in many blog posts on this website, you can begin to gain these benefits in as little as a 10 minute walk outside.
People who practiced forest bathing were compared to people who walked in an urban environment and the forest bathers results showed they had reduced stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure than the city walkers. Although we can’t go forest bathing in most of our cubicle farm positions, maybe trying to get into nature more after work and weekends would benefit us during the week at the office. If nothing else it would help to change our personal percentages and increase that 7 percent time outdoors to the double digits.
I’m thinking now of locations I could try to forest bathe in the Washington, DC metro area, where I am based. Maybe some areas of Rock Creek Park could qualify. Is forest bathing an option you might consider?