Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Group Affirmations - Good or Bad?

Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone is talking the whole time but nothing gets accomplished? Of course you have. Have any of those meetings consisted of everyone agreeing with everything? Maybe, maybe not. I have. Lately, I have a lot. Let me explain.

I've been in meetings with other Agile supporters discussing what it is we want to accomplish within the company and how we're going to do it. All too often, these discussions turn into someone saying something and everyone else agreeing and elaborating on it - similar to the Improv principle of "Yes, and...".

I have mixed feelings on these meetings. When I first left one of these meetings, I left feeling pumped up and enthusiastic about the work that was ahead of me. However, after several more of these meetings, I began to leave feeling frustrated and annoyed. We were talking a lot but saying nothing. We weren't generating action items or progressing the cause in any way.

I've titled these types of meetings "Group Affirmations", and I think I've come to the conclusion that they can be useful in moderation to help inspire and uplift a group of people who need a morale boost. However, Group Affirmations do not produce any real results and can have detrimental effect when over-used. I'm still forming a conclusion, though, and would love to hear your thoughts.
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