Gogglebox for meetings

What might the Delpechitra family (or others) say about your meetings at work? Personally, I'd love to hear what the Dad thinks! Photo: Facebook

What might the Delpechitra family (or others) say about your meetings at work? Personally, I'd love to hear what the Dad thinks! Photo: Facebook

One of the few TV indulgences I have is the show Gogglebox (that shows the response of various households to TV shows). It seems to have a rather polarising response. For many, the idea of watching other people who are watching TV is ridiculous and they refuse to engage with it. I'm in the other camp and find the show to be both entertaining and educational.

Irrespective of your views on Gogglebox, it does highlight a key approach that can lift your meeting performance.

It is about building an awareness of the process of your meetings and not just being a participant in them.

It is along the lines of what Ronald Heifitz refers to as "getting on the balcony" and not just being "on the dancefloor". Being able to take an objective view of an event and not be completely subject to it. 

The cast of Gogglebox are not only watching and commenting on TV, they are also fully aware that they are being filmed. They know that the footage will be taken and edited to maximise the entertainment value by the producers of the show. As such, what we see is a version of them watching the TV that they know may be broadcast. 

Here is an interesting thought experiment...what if you knew that your meetings were being filmed or observed? How would this influence the way that your meetings were held? Chances are that everyone involved would be more aware of what they were saying, the value of their meeting and making sure that the meeting led to decisions and outcomes.

Likewise, what would you learn by observing other meetings? Typically we are better at identifying opportunities for improvement when we watch other people performing an action. You only need to watch a sports fan for this - they make all the right calls from their arm chair while the professional player/coach/referee makes an error.

While I subscribe very much to Brene Brown's view that it's not the critic that counts, the critic can learn.

If you identify what you like in other meetings you can apply them in yours. Similarly, if you identify an approach that you don't think is useful, you can make sure that you don't include them in your meeting practices.

So, a couple of questions for you to consider:

  1. What would others say about your meetings if they were watching?

  2. What could you learn by watching other people's meetings?