Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

Have you heard about the dangerous health condition called vergaderziekte?

It’s a hazardous virus that can travel through a whole organisation with stealth. It can be very hard to stop once embedded, especially if leaders have it.

What are its symptoms? Is it fatal? Can I get immunised against it? Where can I get treatment?

Enough mystery.

Vergaderziekte is a Dutch word meaning ‘meeting sickness’. (It’s almost as hard to pronounce as it is to avoid, so let’s just call it meeting sickness.)

Anyone you know got it? Even those who love their jobs find meetings can make them feel frustrated and eventually apathetic. Are you sick (and a bit tired) of the way your meetings are run?

Research shows a strong correlation between negative emotions and lowered health immunity. Are boring meetings worth that cost?

Here’s what to do

Ensure the purpose of your meeting is really clearly written and stated as you begin. Just as important: pause before your meeting ends and ask how much progress you’ve all made on achieving the goal.

It’s so simple, yet purposeful focusing and reviewing keeps everyone engaged.

And who’s going to do the reviewing? Ultimately, it’s the facilitator’s job, but everyone should contribute.

Watch this space for further tips on how to put more zing back in to your meetings.

About Dharan Longley

dharan longley blog

Dharan Longley is a Senior Trainer at Skillset.

Dharan is an international master trainer with post-graduate qualifications in adult education.

His assignments have included training police officers and university managers in the Middle East, as well as teachers and staff of large organisations in New Zealand.

Dharan's topics are 'effective meetings', 'problem-solving and decision-making', 'team development', 'training for trainers' and 'customer service'. He particularly enjoys helping people with diverse points of view agree on practical solutions.

Dharan is based in Wellington. He has a passion for the outdoors. On days off, he’ll be taking photographs of forests or waves, or out kite surfing.

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