The Purpose of Meetings: Informative vs. Collaborative

There are two things that can happen during a face to face meeting: creating content or sharing information. In terms of the workplace, face to face meetings should happen only when real time collaboration and discussion are necessary. They should not occur to simply share information. And yet, I imagine most of the meetings you attend fall into the informative category.



You can share information with your team in a number of wonderful ways: text message, email, shared docs, phone calls, even old fashioned office memorandums.You don’t need a meeting to share information.

But you cannot create through these mediums (or rather, you shouldn’t). You can’t create effectively via email. There’s no emotion, voice inflection, or facial expression to help me know where you’re going. My brain can’t interact with yours to arrive at a solution. It can. Only. Wait. For. Your. Next. Email.

Meetings are about creating.

Meetings are about solving.

Meetings are about collaboration.

They are not about information.

You should be moving something not observing something.

So if you need to inform me, send me an email. If you want to create with me, invite me for coffee.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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