How many startups or established companies are there on setting up calendars and meetings? Hundreds? Thousands? There are solutions for scheduling meetings, reminding about meetings, preparing for meetings, recording meetings, transcribing meetings, reaching out and connecting people for meeting. Tools for phone meetings, in person meetings, conference calls, video meetings, international meetings. We might live and die by our calendar.
What I love is that almost all these tools advertise themselves as life changers. It reminds me of how my life was black and white and difficult before I had a calendar tool and now it’s messianic and euphoric in colour with this new tool.
However, no matter how good the tool is, a successful meeting comes down to a few very human elements:
- How much does each party care about the meeting? Meetings are are not deemed as important relative to other things going on in one’s life or work will get pushed, rescheduled, or missed.
- How conscientious and good at communicating are each of the parties? How, when, where, and what are all things that need to be communicated between parties. The conscientiousness and communication skills can shift between poor and good depending on other things going on in a person’s work or life.
- How critical is the meeting compared to other means of working together? If you can accomplish through email or other asynchronous communication, why meet at all?
If all of the above are not in the high category, meetings become flakey and ineffective and no amount of tools will make up for this.