Why I cancelled my sprintly manager meeting
… and started meeting weekly instead.
Some people enjoy small talk. Some of my closest friends are small-talkers. I have nothing against the small-talkers. I just am totally incapable and – if I’m being honest – a little socially inept since all this quarantining started.
Meetings with my manager were always dangerously close to small-talk. In order to avoid all of the “hey, how’s your kids?” and the “how was your weekend?” I came prepared to my sprintly, manager meeting with a list of topics I’d like to cover, and ideally a problem that needs solving.
And if I didn’t have a problem, I’d bring up something a little contrived, or already solved. ????
What should I have done? Cancel the meeting? Probably. Seems like the natural solution. A good idea, even.
The opposite of a good idea, can also be a good idea.
– Rory Sutherland, Alchemy
So, what do I do with a meeting I’m finding decreasingly useful?
Yes, instead of meeting with my manager once every two weeks, I now meet with him every week, and I’ve realized some things…
- I won’t ever go back to sprintly meetings. It’s quite a bit of work to catch someone up on two weeks worth of stuff. It prevented us from trading information low-level enough to actually use.
- My manager is my new accountability partner. Each Monday, we take a look at the previous week… specifically
???? The stuff I’m doing towards my current professional goal
???? The unsolved problems I’m mulling over
???? Any ideas in need of some advice
As we’re discussing these things, my manager hits me with some expert-level “why are you avoiding that?” and “that seems to oppose the goal you set.” Then we’ll scrap, pivot, or evolve the idea in question until it’s something I can act on during the upcoming week.
- I’m no longer contriving problems for us to solve. In fact, there’s often so much for us to talk about, I have to schedule a follow up meeting.