Sunday, 16 February 2014

Rant No. 16: Meetings.

Germans seem to love meetings.

Sometimes it feels like there are even meetings about meetings.

I’m not entirely sure that anything much gets decided in these meetings, as every point has to be discussed to the most painstaking detail, and they will not move on to the next topic until everything is complete with the first topic. This can mean hours of going around the houses and getting nowhere.

Meetings are taken very seriously. There is little time for small talk when participating in a meeting, and they are rarely even preceded with friendly banter. There’s certainly no chit-chat like we have in the UK. Instead, they follow the agenda, point by point, which can make an already long and boring meeting seem even longer and more boring.

Germans also have a high regard for authority and hierarchical structure. So really, only the opinion of those at the top of the hierarchical chain matters. This renders most of what is discussed during the meeting obsolete if decisions need to be reached. 

For me, this is one of the rare cases of too many Indians and not enough Chiefs. If the person who makes the decisions is not at the meeting, probably nothing of note will be achieved. Which leaves me wondering where exactly meetings fit in with German efficiency.

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