The Repetition Zone: Don’t fall victim to painfully boring meetings

You’re traveling through another dimension,
a dimension of endless meetings, conversations, and conference calls;
a journey into a torturous land whose boundaries lack imagination.
It is an area that we call . . .the Repetition Zone!

For the third week in a row, I found myself included in a clients’ sales management call. What I experienced terrified and bored me to tears: Seconds turned into minutes…minutes turned into what felt like hours (it was only actually about 25 minutes long)!! A steady stream of management repeating the same information over and over and…over and over… A steady stream of management repeating the same information over and over and…over and over…ARGH!!!

There are many times when repetition can be a good thing: trying to remember new faces, studying for exams, and even scoring shots in a game. But no one likes to be held hostage by an endless cycle of the same information being repeated over and over again in different ways by different people. It’s not just counter-intuitive, it’s plain painful.

What are some ways we can put an end to this reoccurring atrocity??

Cut down on unnecessary meetings: More meetings do not always equate to more productivity/sales. If you can predict a meeting’s content word for word, then thin out its frequency. That wasted 1+ hour could be better used as additional work time.

Stop Talking about it and do something: If everyone already knows there is a problem, implement a solution. Do not keep reporting on the issue thinking that you are going to talk it to death. It doesn’t work and you are putting your employees to sleep.

Redirect your focus: If there is an unfixable issue that hovers over your head like a gray cloud, perhaps it’s time to shift your focus to a problem that you can actually correct. A new focus will not only rejuvenate content, but can also stimulate creativity.

What are your repetition zone horror stories? How do you cope with monotonous meetings? Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear your feedback.


Featured Expert: Robert Marinelli

Robert Marinelli, has more than 25 years experience in areas of sales, law and strategic sourcing/expense management. With such a diverse background Mr. Marinelli has been able to bridge the gap with many a business professional.

During the last 15 years of his career Robert enjoyed tremendous success in the strategic sourcing and expense management arena. Having worked for such leading companies as Verizon Communication, Deutsche Bank A.G., Siemens A.G., and most recently at Guardian Life Insurance Co as its Chief Strategic Sourcing Officer, Robert’s contributions have been many in nearly all aspects of expense reduction, productivity and quality. During his four years at Guardian he completely transformed a tactical procurement department into a value added strategic sourcing organization where he was able to drive out millions in sustainable savings, increased quality, and have the division recognized as a true value added partner to the business lines. His organization was frequently recognized by key executives and their teams in several of the division’s quarterly reports and surveys.

Having responsibility for hiring and managing a large number of people over his career Mr. Marinelli has come to know all too well the value of good hiring decisions to include a strong recruiting partner. Moreover having worked in partnership with many of his human resources counter-parts, he was personally responsible for establishing several recruiting desks to include the use of MSPs (manage service providers) an outsourced recruiting function; thus he is intimately aware of all things recruiting.

During Robert’s notable career he has also worked on nearly all aspects of business operations, such as system evaluations, and implementations, process improvements, contract management, cash management, out-sourcing, change management, expense management, organizational design, and function, policy creation… and provides consulting services in these areas and more.

Mr. Marinelli has been a speaker at several trade and research events, as well as many internal town hall meetings. Robert’s most recent contribution was at the CPO Summit in Boston, sponsored by the Aberdeen Group where he spoke about divisional transformation, and the importance of team building and partnering.

Robert holds a BA in Political Science form Seton Hall University, and JD from Seton Hall University School of Law.

[Header Photo Credit: Songquan Deng]

Business Management & Consulting Expert, Robert Marinelli



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