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I hate meetings but I love workshops. Here's why...

Meetings are often booked without purpose and preparation. They are often booked a long way in advance, on repeat invitation, and so lack context and relevance to the time they are held. Meeting attendance is often delegated to less informed and unempowered people, demonstrating a lack of importance to the invitee. In my experience, most meetings people go to, they believe is a waste of time (see my article on 5 steps to a successful meeting).

Workshops are usually one-off events. They have a clear purpose and people put a lot of effort into preparing the agenda, the invitations, the right location and set the right environment. They are often faciliatated 'professionally' and have well documented success criteria. They typically have active participation of al attendees and retain energy throughout. Everyone is aware of the value of the outcomes in a workshop and of their own individual contribution.  It is more common that people want to get invited to workshops, unlike trying to avoid meetings.

Meetings should be banned, or at least renamed and focused on a particular outcome. e.g. a 2 hour 'weekly management meeting' could be broken into 3 'workshops' and called: 1. leadership development session to enhance careeer opportunities. 2. sharing of best practice to improve your project success. 3. Idea generation for team motivation and reward.  This might be repositioning the agenda but it clear on what the value of the session is and what the outcomes are. It may be that different people are required for each session, which means that the groups are smaller, more productive and not wasting people's time listening to something they have no interest in.