I was fascinated by this piece in Times Higher Education about the power (or otherwise) of meetings. I have been to my fair share of tedious meetings, but also find regular meetings, particularly if they are focused on decision making, incredibly valuable – decisions it would take me hours to make on my own can be done quickly… and in many ways the question about what people are doing (note the obviousness of getting the laptop out) are similar to those about what students are doing whilst you are teaching … are they engaging with what you are doing, augmented with material online, or are they off doing something else (and is that something we, as lecturers, need to worry about?)
However, enjoy this rant, and recognise some of the negative possibilities of meetings:
This brings me to my second point about meetings: avoid, at all costs, the obvious. Don’t insult your attendees’ intelligence. Don’t read the minutes to them or bore them with reports that they could read on their own. And don’t say something that could easily go unsaid. None of this is an easy trick to pull off with academics; in my limited experience, I either overestimate the knowledge of my listeners (like most academic articles do) or infantilise them (like a lecture course gone wrong).
Read full article.