February 19, 2021
A guide to avoiding bad meetings
As Dave Grady mentions in his TED Talk, there’s a global epidemic called MAS, which stands for “mindless accept syndrome.” A symptom of this is, in Grady’s words, “an involuntary reflex in which a person accepts a meeting invitation without even thinking why.” All jokes aside, the subject of the TED Talk is something PR professionals should take into consideration.
Many of us subconsciously accept invitations to meetings without even asking what the meeting is about. No one wants to sit in a meeting for hours without knowing what the game plan is, especially if we have other projects to work on and deadlines to meet.
Grady calls MAS a “self-inflicted wound” and explains how this syndrome is what makes us miserable while working. Grady’s evidence on how MAS is a global epidemic is demonstrated by playing a satirical video he recorded about unorganized meetings. Most of the comments the video received were from people relating to what was going on in the video, and even big companies have asked Grady for his approval to use the video as an example on how not to run a meeting as part of employee training.
Although he does emphasize the importance of meetings, what’s the point of having them if no one knows what’s going on? Meetings are used to discuss and collaborate on ideas, solutions, or insights with your colleagues, but how can you do that if there’s no communication to begin with?
His simple solution? Don’t be afraid to ask what the meeting is going to be about when invited. Not only does this give you more information, but it gives you the opportunity to prepare how your input can help. This can also give the meeting’s host the idea to provide more information when sending out invitations next time.
The PR industry heavily depends on communication and teamwork, and meetings (successful meetings that have objectives and goals to be exact) are used to improve these two factors. Meetings are essential to thrive, and it has to be done right. Without meetings, a lot of miscommunication and mistakes can happen, and that’s the last thing you want for your client.
Maria Gimeno is beginning her public relations career and currently studying at the University of North Florida. Her determination and motivation sets her apart in her PR career. Maria began working with Axia in January 2021.