Why Is Holding a Staff Meeting Within the Office Typically the Worst Place to Do So?

By: Scott McEachern, legal practitioner coach

Holding Staff Meeting Whether a meeting is being held to review quarterly profit performance, to review new precedent decision of the Supreme Court, to review information from the Law Society, to brainstorm about business development, to discuss case strategy, or to do a million other things, holding the meeting at the office may be the worst place to do so.

Typically, the office is an environment that is same-old, same-old to management and staff; and accordingly, the office is the environment where minds tend to fall into the everyday routine with the same mental process and thoughts that.  Essentially, while every day tasks that are done at the office may vary somewhat, the office is the place where minds stagnate.  Of course, this is a good thing on most days as the policies and procedures of an office should be consistent without a reinventing of the wheel on a daily basis; however, when reinventing the wheel is desired, the office will be the worst place to explore fresh ideas about how to reinvent the wheel.

A unique meeting place should be chosen and the place should be sensed as an outing in the form of reward.  As a reward, the choice of venue may indeed be a true reward for the accomplishment of a set goal or to show that there is a special bonus that comes with the contribution of new ideas.  Think about that last point for a moment.  Would you feel more energized and inspired and ready to contribute fresh ideas while enjoying a round of golf or chatting over lunch rather than being stuck at the office in a boardroom?  When staff knows that by getting involved and contributing will mean more special out-of-the-office meetings, staff will look forward to these events and be ready to participate; however, if staff feels, even subconsciously, that the management just wants to pick the brains of the staff without giving back anything special, a ho-hum attitude is more likley and perhaps even an underlying sense of resentment.

As mentioned above, getting out of the office gets the mind out of a stagnant state and often ready to receive fresh ideas seemingly channeled from out-of-the-blue.  Myself, quite literally, some of the best ideas come from out-of-the-blue whereas my brother, Steve, and I do hold an annual meeting during a two hour swim into the middle of the lake at the cottage.  We both often have our best ideas come, literally, from out-of-the-blue water or sky, in that ideas seem beyond what we could think of within our own minds.  Additionally, by holding this special annual middle of the lake meeting, and excitedly looking forward to doing so again each summer, we also have opportunity many times throughout the year to reflect on the meeting and the ideas that came forth during subsequent chats that begin with, "Remember during our swim last summer and the idea about ...".  As you might imagine, when a subsequent chat starts this way, the chat always starts with a smile in positive reflection.

So, whether it is a local restaurant, a round of golf, or a hike in the outdoors, among any other place, hold your important meetings outside of the office.  Treat your meetings as something special and at such meetings is where your special ideas will be discovered.


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