meetingsIt’s Motivation Monday and a time for celebrating the life and legacy of a transformational leader-Dr. Martin Luther King. How are you celebrating today? Thanks for joining us as Kelly shares all about meetings!

Meetings Are Killing Motivation and Participation

I have this “friend” (I’ll call her Beth) who stepped up to serve in a local community organization that will remain nameless. She agreed to serve despite her already filled schedule, because of their desperate plea for volunteers. Apparently they had already burned out the other volunteers and were desperate for new meat.

Beth knew that they held one event a month, and while it would be tough, she would make it happen. What they didn’t tell her was that for every activity they planned, they would have at least five meetings to accompany it. Not even three months later and Beth is rocking back and forth, considering a restraining order, and wondering how hard it would be to fake her own death. It wasn’t the work that killed her, it was the meetings.

The number one complaint I hear from businesses, companies, groups, committees, associations,  and volunteer organizations that I have been involved with, is how hard it is to get people to step up and help, even when it involves their career and volunteer spirit. They complain about how a small group does all the work and they are burned out.

I think there are many reasons like a lack luster vision that is poorly communicated, people who are given tasks instead of made to feel empowered by their own ideas, a strong desire to accomplish items on a list even though they are outdated and completely irrelevant to today’s society, the belief that more is better, and political struggles for power.

But one main reason is the MEETINGS. People are stressed and they are busy, and they most certainly do not like their time wasted. And taking them away from their families and other work obligations for a “tiny little meeting” is a big deal, even if you do promise them dinner. And most people walk away from these meetings wondering why they even met when all of this could have been covered in one email with a little advance planning.

As much as we might hate to admit it, technology has changed the way we function in our world. And while it is important to maintain that face-to-face, it doesn’t mean you have to schedule endless meetings that could have been accomplished in an email. The world will not end if you don’t meet over chicken wings. And no matter how important you think that meeting is, requiring your people to show up once a week or more, is something that will drain their energy and enthusiasm and cause them to leave or perform poorly.

Just ask Beth.

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at or call 1-888-766-3155.

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