Sunday, August 12, 2018

Overview of 'P-Rules' for Effectively Conducting Meetings/Reviews

There are many things that world’s renowned management schools don’t teach you. It might take a book to list all of them here but in this post I want to focus on one of them. And it is about 
conducting meetings effectively.

I don’t believe in the school of thought that proposes that meetings are useless. Meetings themselves aren’t unproductive but meetings run unskilfully are indeed unproductive.

Meetings are necessary for collaboration and collaboration is foundation of everything good that happens in the organizations.

As much as meetings are necessary, conducting the meetings effectively is one of the most underrated skills, something that doesn’t get as much attention/training as it deserves.
While writing this, I got reminded of this tweet from Vala Afshar that truly conveys the universal negligence around meetings.

Having said all this, its not that people, organizations and thought-leaders have put in ample efforts to fine-tune meetings in the organizations. One such effort that I came across recently was from Andrew Bosworth (Vice President, AR/VR at Facebook).

He summarized his philosophy on conducting meetings in these 7 rules that he happened to call as ‘P-Rules’. You can check detailed article here, but a quick summary and my sketchnote follows:

#1 NO PILING ON: When one person finds a weakness in an argument, others often feel the need to form a chorus around it. DON'T Pile on.
#2 NO PEDANTRY: Spotting typos on slides or correcting misspoken words isn't helpful (unless you think people might be genuinely confused).
#3 NO PONTIFICATION: Often leaders tend to explore some tangential topic during meetings to satisfy their own intellectual curiosity.
#4 NO PRESCRIPTION: The most damaging mistake I see leaders make after they identify problems is to propose solutions.
#5 NO PERMISSION: When teams ask for permission, they're subtly trying to move the responsibility to you. Don't let them.
#6 NO PESSIMISM: With limited time, it's tempting to shut down what seem like obviously bad ideas. It's much more valuable to react with curiosity.
#7 LET PRESENTERS PRESENT: People go to a lot of effort to prepare content and it can be demoralizing to get derailed without being able to finish.

What are your ways for conducting meetings effectively ?