Archive for December, 2008

Meeting hoggers - are they unwelcome?

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Jacob Oram of the New Zealand cricket team, the Black Caps, seems to think so given by  what he was reported as saying in an article about the erstwhile coach John Bracewell.

He said there was nothing worse than the captain, vice-captain and a few senior players hogging a meeting.

What do meeting hoggers convey? They convey the message that they are more important than you and that their contribution is more important than yours. The result of this tends to go two ways:

  • resistance from you the “lesser” being, which creates antipathy, contradiction and argument that is based around evening up the power - and has precious little to do with dealing with the valuable content or reaching a productive outcome
  • withdrawal, resignation and cynicism about a process (a meeting is a process) that doesn’t include them. The hoggers are left to their own devices and can witter on to the rest of the meeting who may be physically present but whose minds and spirits have already left the building.

Interesting to hear this come from a player in a team sport. The Action Meetings approach to meetings treats meetings as a team event - the team works together to resolve a set of outcomes. The structure and process of an Action Meeting minimises hogging and maximises participation from all of the people at the meeting - no resignation, cynicism and withdrawal just satisfying, productive outcomes.