That Meeting (That Could Have Been an E-mail) Can Actually Be 'Therapeutic'

Think of it as a time to vent.

Office meetings are often seen as the bane of everyone's work life, because more than breaking your focus and momentum, most of these sessions can actually be summarized in a bulletpoint email.

Experts from the University of Malmo in Sweden, however, believe that a lot of people have the wrong mindset about meetings. They note that meetings shouldn't be seen as opportunities to immediately make decisions on current issues, but as venues to throw around ideas, and sometimes even to affirm roles and vent.

According to political scientist and professor Patrick Hall, managerial and "strategy" jobs tend to generate more meeting. "Many managers don't know what to do," he explains in a feature in BBC, and since these people are "unsure of their role," they tend to generate more meetings. "People like to talk and it helps them find a role."

They can also be therapeutic for employees, as they can actually give you the "opportunity to complain and be acknolwedged by colleagues."

The point is to create a meeting space where each person has the time to shine. "People often feel marginalised. They feel that they have no influence or position. In these cases, the perception is that meetings do not improve anything, but actually cause even more frustration," says Professor Hall. The key, therefore, is to make sure that every one is treated equally and on the same page—and it also helps that the session is efficiently short and sweet.

This story originally appeared on


* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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