Types of Meetings

Many different meetings occur in business between managers and employees. The most typical meetings can be categorized as firefighting meetings. Firefighting meetings occur on an ad hoc basis to solve specific problems such as:

1. Customer X did not get the right product

2. Machine number 6 is not functioning properly; etc. The purpose of these meetings is simply to resolve issues. Issues discussed are hot topics that need to be resolved immediately. A Progress Meeting is not this kind of firefighting meeting.

Another type of meeting is a departmental meeting. In this type of meeting, participants shuffle into a conference room and sit around. Someone speaks and updates on various issues. Frequently, people’s attention wanders off and they do not pay attention. They might look like they do but they actually are not and may well be texting and the like. At the end of the meeting, everyone shuffles out of the conference room and scurries off to their next meeting. This process repeats. A Progress Meeting is not that kind of meeting.

Then there is the yearly appraisal process with associated meetings. This is least celebrated and underappreciated type of meeting that goes on in organizations. In fact, in most organizations it is downright hated. Typically this meeting occurs at the end of the year. It entails the Manager evaluating the employee’s accomplishments and skill development. This process turns into a bureaucratic chore pushed by HR so that they can update their records. Most of the time the employees’ goals were not tracked or discussed during the year; thus the appraisal is often incomplete and inaccurate. The yearly appraisal becomes an exercise which corporate citizens participate in without a lot of enthusiasm or energy.

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