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Literature of Leadership -May Book Review

The Surprising Science Of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team To Peak Performance. Steven G. Rogelberg. (2018, Kindle Edition)

It is a proven fact: “meetings matter”! Well-designed and conducted, meetings can provide meaningful opportunities for inclusion, innovation, engagement and return on investment. However, the brutal reality is that meetings often take the form of dysfunctional practices that result in frustration, disengagement, and wasted time and money. It is not surprising, therefore, that The Washington Post named this book as the #1 leadership book to watch for in 2019.

Steven Rogelberg, an internationally acclaimed expert and award-winning researcher in meeting science, shares the best evidence on common meeting problems and misconceptions, as well as insights and strategies on how to harness the power of meetings to drive positive results. Each chapter begins with an in-depth description of a particular “vexing meeting derailer”, followed by practical solutions. A breadth of topics are addressed such as: determining appropriate meeting length, creating purposeful agendas, defining optimal meeting size, seating plan considerations, stand-up vs. sit-down meetings, the folly of remote call-in meetings, generating synergy, among others.

One chapter that is a personal favorite is titled “No More Talking”. In this chapter, Rogelberg reveals how silence can be golden in the process of generating ideas, and how techniques such as “brainwriting” and “silent reading” can be highly effective. Also, at the end of the book, a variety of tools are provided for assessing and improving the meeting experience. This is a highly informative, insightful, and often humorous read that will appeal to anyone interested in improving their time invested in meetings.

Image source: Amazon

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