When I walked through the door, I groaned inwardly. I think that my inward groan was loud enough to disrupt electromagnetic pulses the world around. Did you notice that little blip at 9:00 am EST yesterday?
Why did I groan? I groan at a lot of meetings. You see, I am a scientist. While this doesn't mean that I am a thoughtless, emotionally stilted automaton (well, I might be, but that isn't relevant here) - it does mean that I hate cutesy, touchy-feely crap in a meeting. If I want to chat and "share" with people, I'll do it on my own time (thankyouverymuch) and probably over a beer. I do not enjoy "sharing" random stuff with people I don't know when we have a perfectly good agenda to get through.
But, you say, you just walked through the door - how did you know that this meeting was worth that kind of groan?
It was the tables... they were covered with (ugh) boxes of colorful markers, and (gack) post-it notes, and (oh, man, this is gonna suck!) poster board.
The BIG surprise... we weren't asked to share our biggest life ambition, tell about the most random dream we have ever had, or play any other stupid "ice-breaker" game. And, the meeting was actually worthwhile and helpful.
Yes, it didn't really need to take 3 1/2 hours. But, it was (in general) a worthwhile use of my time and I didn't sit there resentful. I think that I will be able to make tangible improvements in our web design from his useful techniques.
I may be cynical - but, I'll count that as a win.
*Contrast that to GeeseAplenty http://www.greghoward.net/index.php/weblog/leadership/