It wasn't long ago that I was a maker of things. I was knee-deep in building stuff. I wasn't overly worried about how things came together, or how I should be communicating with others. If I felt someone needed to be aware of my project, I'd send it to them.
And I abhorred meetings. A total waste of time.
Then, I became a manager.
I still build stuff, but it's a little different. I make things, too - again, it's a little different.
But, I'm not knee-deep into anything anymore. I'm now worried about communicating and collaborating across teams. I'm really focused on the future, and how things will help other things fit together.
And I'm now fully into scheduling meetings. I have that nagging feeling that it's wrong, but it seems to be the only way to bring people together to agree on priorities, timing, and ownership.
There are a few things I am proactive and religious about when it comes to scheduling meetings:
- Agenda: Every meeting has an agenda.
- Respect: Every meeting starts on time and ends on time.
- Script: While it's easy to go off topic, I keep folks focused on the agenda.
- Stop meeting: I've minimized the number of meetings I schedule for my team - One weekly team meeting, and one 1:1 meeting per week with a member of the team.
The more I go along this route, the more I start thinking that I don't mind scheduling meetings. I've read about the perils of meetings, especially in relating to makers v. managers. The thing is, I was always taking it from the makers side, not thinking about the managers role (other than to suck the time away from my productivity).
I still don't like attending meetings. But I do like scheduling them.
Probably because I have the maker-me on my shoulder reminding the manager-me how wasteful meetings can be.