What are working meetings for (and not for making decisions) | Good Life


The business of the future is not in technology, forget about Facebook if you want to get rich; meeting table manufacturers will dominate the world. The tasks of management, strategy and advice do not stop gaining ground in companies, and with them professionals who seem to be dedicated only to pilgrimage from meeting to meeting. The meetings should improve the performance of the group, but many employees only see them as a way to hinder their job. The problem is that few know that they do not serve so much to make better decisions as to do group therapy.

Work meetings have a bad reputation because, all too often, "they end up not being effective, time consuming or lead to conflicts," acknowledges Elisa Sánchez, a psychologist, consultant and trainer in the areas of human resources and occupational health. There are too many that start late, last long and do not end at the scheduled time, to name three of the most common inconveniences. But the big problem is that we have not assumed that we should start them long before their time. "When you don't work on the confidence of the team beforehand, decision making is meaningless. In those cases, many attendees give up participating because they do what others say or do not let them intervene, "says Pilar del Pueblo, a member of the governing board of the Official College of Psychology of the Valencian Community.

If this were taken into account, labor inconvenience could become a blessing for the performance of workers. According to a recent book by researchers in political science and sociology of work at the Universities of Malmö and Lund, in Sweden, work meetings can represent an opportunity to recognize the work of employees. It can also become the right place for them to express their frustration. Thus understood, they represent a space of emotional regulation, a kind of group therapy that makes it easier for workers to want to support the shoulder. "The task regulates the relationship, but the quality of the relationship is what regulates the quality of work," explains the work psychologist and organizations.

Of course, as in any therapy, the therapist is primarily responsible. In this case, "whoever summons it should know how to empathize with the attendees. If there is a tense situation, of fatigue or frustration in the face of a change in work, one must begin by recognizing the difficulties and trying to normalize the situation. The person in charge must have a great emotional competence that identifies the status of the members and then propose solutions, "Del Pueblo suggests. But many times that is not his main concern.

Why there are bosses who love meetings

Convoking a work meeting does not only make sense when it is necessary to clarify organizational objectives or new general policies, or to seek acceptance of an idea, project or decision. "It also has it to obtain immediate reactions when the speed of response is vital; to improve internal coordination; when the responsibility or knowledge about a matter is widely dispersed or when the members wish to meet with the team leader," says the psychologist Elisa Sánchez But there are managers who give it a very different utility, which They use them as an excuse to tell yourself that you are a better boss.

"The responsible apparently he takes care of the guidelines, but does not involve the team, does not explain the reason for the decisions. Then it becomes a staging of empty words that apparently convey confidence to a team that perceives the opposite, "warns Del Pueblo. Among those who wish to outdo themselves as managers, there is also a misconception that the more meetings convened, the better it will lead carry out his task of directing.

"The number of meetings is based on the nature of the work. The launch of a project needs more meetings because it is important to follow up at the beginning, but it can be meetings of five or ten minutes to set goals, see the evolution or give support So wrong is to think that the meeting is an end in itself as the fact of giving more value and support to the person who proposes the decision than to the decision, "concludes this expert in occupational psychology.

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