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Help! I’ve got FOMO!

Posted by Paul Neefjes on 16 September, 2016

FOMO-in-meetings

Never heard of FOMO? It’s a virus that many Dutch people suffer from: Fear Of Missing Out. For example, children who have little or no WiFi connection on their vacation can get seriously stressed out. There are few things worse than being offline for five minutes. Just imagine missing an update or not being able to catch Pokémons! And perhaps you too know the anxiety of missing out on something: you notice that you check your email and Facebook posts just a tad too often; you sleep badly because you can’t be parted from that 24/7 stream of information, etc. If you’d like to know more about FOMO, watch this hilarious video of The Ellen Show.


FOMO in the conference room

FOMO is infectious. A lot of people don’t just suffer from it in their private lives, but also at work. You even notice it in the conference room – particularly when there are too many people taking part in the meeting that are not making any real contribution to it. These are often people who are mostly concerned with not missing out on information. Which is a shame because when there are too many people sitting around the conference table, it tends to disrupt the meeting. But with the following tips, you can eliminate FOMO sufferers from the conference room once and for all.
If you don’t want FOMO sufferers in your conference room, here are 3 tips!


Tip 1: Be selective in who you invite

A lot of people who organize meetings invite the same people purely out of habit, even though they can often do with far fewer colleagues. Inviting fewer people makes the meeting process more effective and it saves the organization a lot of working hours – time that can be better spent. So take a long, hard look at the list of participants before you send them an invitation or agenda. Don’t be afraid of offending people: the people who would only come because they suffer from FOMO can easily make do with the minutes.


Tip 2: Dare to invite for specific items on the agenda

Are certain colleagues only needed for specific parts of the meeting? If so, it’s a shame to have them sitting around the table for the entire meeting. So why not try this: invite your colleagues to have their say on the particular item that you needed them for. Isn’t that more efficient? Then you can send them the minutes of the entire meeting afterwards. Want to bet that they missed nothing important?


Tip 3: Make long meetings unnecessary

How often do you see your colleagues attending meetings because they think that certain info might be relevant? How often is it? This is another typical example of FOMO. If people have a better idea of what’s going on – on a particular project, for example – they have less need to attend the meeting ‘just to be on the safe side’. So provide your colleagues with sufficient opportunities to share information elsewhere. This might be in the form of social intranet, online (project) groups or small, daily SCRUM meetings. This enables questions and updates to be shared faster and eliminates long, weekly meetings with too many colleagues. You’ll soon see a sharp reduction on your need to meet ‘live’.

If you’d like more tips to help you and your colleagues to meet as effectively as possibly, download this checklist.

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Topic: Meeting trends

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