Being a meeting professional can be hard work.
Being an ineffective meeting professional is even harder, especially for everyone involved.
Six Habits Of Unsuccessful Meeting Professionals
In the discouraging tradition of the highway traveled all too often, here are six guaranteed ways to ensure that you and your team are unmotivated and provide a status quo, boring conference. This is the conventional guide to achieving stress and discord among stakeholders. It is a handbook for creating doubt and suspicion regarding your experience and talent.
1. Being The “Know-It-All” Meeting Professional.
Ineffective meeting professionals squash all questions and discussions that might reveal their ignorance. They belittle the true expertise in the group. They’ve done meeting planning the same way for the past 10 years and believe that it is the only way to success. They also recruit and retain second-rate, “more stupid than moi” team members.
Savvy meeting professionals question everything. They surround themselves with the best and the brightest. They seek expertise and the wisdom of the group to make better-informed decisions.
2. Managing Numbers, Not People
Weak meeting professionals spend more time with their spreadsheets than with their team and customers. While they shake their head in agreement with others that the conference is for the attendees, they are only about the bottom-line. They have no concern for creating a better conference experience. They never observe their customers in action and actually do not like being with people.
Savvy meeting professionals see the numbers as a sign about the overall conference experience. They believe that creating a one-of-a-kind experience will cause the numbers to improve.
3. Embracing The Status Quo
Unproductive meeting professionals aim for developing an average conference experience. They only want average attendees and average sponsors. Their conference experience hits the middle of the bell curve. They believe that the only people that change are wet babies. Since the status quo put them in charge, the status quo must be the best of all worlds. In the end, if it’s not broke, why fix it?
Effective meeting professionals empower their team to provide stellar customer service and plan an unforgettable conference experience. They realize that status quo meetings are common, ordinary and not what customers want. They embrace change and are constantly finding ways to upgrade the conference experience.
4. Refusing To Delegate
Inefficient meeting professionals believe that delegating makes them less important. They feel that they are the only ones that can do the task the right way, their way. They cling to their authority and micromanage the steps. They secretly believe that their superiors will see that they are the star player.
Strong meeting professionals know that delegating elevates everyone. They believe in a team spirit and that together, the group can achieve more.
5. Never Sharing Their Opinion
Ineffective meeting professionals refuse to take a stand. If asked for an opinion, they answer with “It depends.” If given some suggestions and asked for a decision, they respond with, “I’ll take it under advisement,” or “It’s under active consideration.”
Successful meeting professionals share their opinions, thoughts and ideas with the team. Then they let the team respond as they actively listen.
6. Stealing Credit
Vain meeting professionals seek out a parade and then run to get in front of it. They interrupt a project to offer their expertise and then take credit if it succeeds. If the project fails, they respond with, “The team acted without my knowledge.”
Smart meeting professionals give their team credit for doing the work. They take pride in the fact that they helped with the success in subtle ways: delegating, coaching and providing perspective. They take the blame when things go wrong.
What are some other habits of ineffective meeting professionals that you would add to the list? What are some ways to deal with ineffective meeting professionals?
Tahira Endean says
LOVE THIS POST Jeff! This is really an excellent recap of how things go a little sideways – and how we end up finding the “same old” conferences being planned again and again. I am excited by the possibility of experiences that can be created, and that can make meetings more meaningful for participants – keep spreading the word!
Pat Ahaesy says
Excellent post and oh, so true.
Jay S. Daughtry says
Jeff, you have created an easy “how to” guide for becoming an ineffective meeting professional. Those who aspire to great ineffectiveness can save themselves a lot of time by reading this primer. Insightful points on numbers vs. people, the bottom line vs. the experience and being open to ideas and input from others. A job well done!
Jeff Hurt says
Thanks Jay for reading and highlighting some of these points. It definitely is the “how to guide” to ensure you fail! 😉
Theresa Altgilbers says
Good points – especially 1 and 3. If we’re not open to hearing about and finding new things, we’ll get left behind!
Don England says
Kristi Sanders says
I think it’s an excellent guide to how to be inefficient at just about everything. I know a lot of managers I’m constantly pushing out of these habits. It’s hard work!