it’s fascinating that the Internet offers us great terms to prevent participating in off-putting and ridiculous dialogue detours that do not contribute to making decisions, moving forward or engaging in conversations. I am speaking of DNFTT – or “Do not feed the trolls.” In fact, in an online community, trolling is usually rapidly risen above and quashed appropriately (except on Reddit, but that is totally another story).
Anyone else wonder why this doesn’t happen in meetings? If we are in a meeting and the trolls raise their insidious little heads, any number of people switch to fiddling their blackberry, iPhone, laptop, sweater buttons… Is your time in that meeting any less valuable? Is the team’s collective time – and intelligence – less valuable? The next time someone in a meeting starts to feed the trolls by indulging in off-topic and irrelevant conversations, imagine this:
and ask yourself, is that how you want your meeting to go? Is that really a great use of your valuable time and talent? Or the money your customers pay you? I didn’t think so. So let’s stop feeding trolls in the corporate environment too. -c-
PS – As a contrast to online communities, troll-feeding predominantly afflicts larger meetings where a big part of the room is not engaged at any one time…which is another great reason for only inviting who you need to invite. People who need to get the work are a lot less likely to move off-topic without any added benefit.