Introvert hates meetings!

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Dear IntrovertZone,

I’ve been logging on to this site for a while and I think it’s great! I hope people catch on to it. My question is about meetings. I like my job, but I find it almost painful to have weekly meetings. I find them useless for the way that I communicate. I don’t like the idea that I should have to change and “like” meetings when there are much better ways to exchange information, in my opinion. I feel that learning to “like” meetings would be like learning to like a Hummer when you want to drive a compact car or something like that.

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33 Comments

  1. Obviously, no one can “make” you like meetings. You can either choose to make the best of them and try to find something worthwhile from them, either something you can learn or a way to learn more about your co-workers OR you can use the time to do other things like make grocery lists or think about personal stuff. That’s life, sometimes you just have to find a way to make the best of it.

  2. Some people have an hard time to open up to strangers. but with the time they start to open for a bit. being introvert can be a nice excuse to have lack of communication among others. but the truth is everybody needs connections.
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  3. oh my, this strucks a chord. hate hate hate the weekly meeting and its hardly or nothing to report about either! just weekly stock movements / any change in company menu. then the boss will ask ridiculous questions e.g. on every week 7 cartons of milk used? so i want to see it shown every week!
    he should be able to see the report which is so simple a 4 yr old could read and just compare it week by week and thats it.
    total waste of time.

  4. I HATE meetings too. The worst part is those who ramble on and on, repeating themselves.

    You might take comfort in the fact that almost everyone hates meetings too.

    You won’t ever make yourself like meetings, as they are a necessary part of the work scene. You CAN make them more tolerable. You can, as mentioned before, do things like make out your grocery list, refine and prioritize your to do list. I know of a manager who would bring trade magazines to large meetings!

    You could also become a people watcher. Who rolls their eyes and at what. Who get’s the boss’s attentions, both negative and positive and why.

    Try to communicate in your style when it is your turn. Have handouts or presentations.

    I have to attend a web conference every 2 weeks where everyone goes over the status of their projects. Most of which I haven’t a clue about and couldn’t care less. And I’m sure others think the same about my projects.

    The good thing about face to face meetings, you pay more attentions to what’s being said. In web meetings I am usually doing something else on my computer while someone else is talking and I get caught when the boss asks me a question. He’s very good at trying to keep everyone involved. So I’m working on taking brief notes on other’s updates, just to keep my attention focused. Even though I resent the time taken away from actually accomplishing something.

  5. I agree with those who said to just grin and bear it if you can’t actually change the fact that you have meetings, but I even more agree with those who said to bring something to do that you need to work on, especially if you can disguise the fact that you’re not actually taking notes and being very responsible. I am a writer, and I always bring a notebook to meetings and generally spend the whole meeting writing away. Over time I’ve even come to look forward to meetings because they’re a good excuse for me to scribble away.

  6. Some meetings can really be boring. But it is something that makes a company successful. If it is required of you to attend it, I don’t think you have better choices than to attend. They are right, you don’t have to like it but you have to bear with it. Patience is a virtue especially in most jobs. Don’t force yourself to speak up just for the sake of it. You can at least listen though. 🙂

  7. Great article explaining the uselessness of weekly meetings, its more informative than the I expected, I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. I’ll be following along with more posts, looking forward to studding more posts.

  8. I was once an introvert before, and every time my boss ask for a meeting I always hate it but I have no choice but to attend and be silent the whole meeting. I want to fight this thing off from me, it is not already good. I read self help book but it did not affect me much.
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  9. I guess you have no choice about it so just deal with it and you’ll get used to it unless you have worked in that company for more than 5 years. If your company have suggestion box you might want to make some suggestion there as anonymous.

  10. I think a lot of people don’t enjoy weekly meetings themselves, introvert or not. It’s just something we have to do for work. Don’t worry, they always end after an hour or so.

  11. As most have noted, meetings are normally required, even if not necessary. I like Natalie’s suggestion of being a people watcher. In fact, if you delve into some sociology, it can be quite interesting.

    If your company is open-minded, perhaps you could suggest differing formats that would offer a change of pace (especially video conferencing). But then, when does an introvert offer suggestions, right?

  12. There are types of people that hates meetings. And I’m one of those. I love working, I love creating project proposals, but I hate presenting proposals my self because I don’t like meetings. I just ask my secretary to propose my work.

    Even though it is required in every work, I just usually attend meetings once a month. Maybe I just don’t want to interact with my bosses because I don’t want them to see mistakes on my work.

    I don’t know if my attitude is just normal or I need to consult my physician. Can anyone advice?

  13. Meetings are part of a job. It actually makes the company more systematic and coordinated. I also hate office meetings sometimes even though I’m not an introvert. But I think you don’t have to really like it just to cope with it. There are things that we don’t like but we are oblige to do it. So just attend the weekly meetings, listen to what they’re saying and if you don’t like to speak up then there’s no need to if they don’t ask you or you’re not required to. It’s just once a week so I think it wouldn’t be too much. 🙂

  14. Don’t worry because you are not alone who hates meetings but what can we do, it’s for the stability of the company that we are serving so better have a lot of patience and get used to it. Time passes suddenly so you’ll never know meeting is adjourned before you notice it.

  15. In my experience you cannot learn to like meetings. I was in a job that included many, many meetings and conferences. I hated it and despite all my efforts (good preparation, learning how to small talk, force myself to participate, learn open body language) it never got any better or easier. I had to force myself every single time to be there and felt always drained afterwards (with an inner voice screaming for a time-out), whereas all the other people seemed to enjoy themselves. I wasn’t able to understand them at the time not knowing that I was probably the only introvert in various groups of extroverts. Boy, did I suffer!

    The only solution was to quit the job (a year ago) for a job that requires less face-to-face interaction. It was so worth it! All the pressure has gone. I recently learnt about the main difference between introverts and extroverts has something to do with energy in social interactions. Now I see why I suffered and why the change was so important to come to peace with my inner self as an introvert. Of course the situation would have been different if there had only been short and once-a-week team meetings (which I think I could have handled better)

  16. In reading this thread I was surprised at the number of grin and bear it–meetings serve a purpose– replies. I agree with the author of this post–that there must be a better way to exchange information. I think you should hate meetings if you do and not try to change yourself but change what you don’t like–and do it in your own introverted way–whatever that is for you.

    I find that really being aware of what I hate and allowing it, rather than fighting it, brings a lot of creative solutions. It saddens me to hear things like 90% of people hate meetings but they are a necessary evil. This is the kind of thinking, though on a less dangerous scale, that brings people like Hitler into power.

    Introverts tend to be self motivated, insightful, and observant. I would take those skills and start to chip away at the meeting thing. Some things that come to mind are telling your boss what you are working on or would like to do with the time you would be in the meeting, and if you have something to present ask to go first so you can return to your task. Finding a way to not have to attend every meeting seems like a worthy goal. From my point of view meetings seem to be for extroverts–it helps them think and organize, while as introverts we do this naturally on our feet- so the meeting seems like a real waste of time.
    I have and would continue to use the meeting for my benefit as others have suggested by writing or reading for my own interests.

  17. I have always disliked company meetings and often did anything possible to avoid them. But like everything in life practice and experience helps and over time, while still preferring to avoid, do find it easier and less frustrating to attend now.

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    • Introverts are usually much better at written communication than verbal. To put an introvert in a meeting and expect their best is like putting a jellyfish in the desert and expecting beauty and grace.

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