Office Meetings: Noisy, chaotic and unproductive? Dull, boring and a waste of time? Whichever school of thought you subscribe to (and it has to be one of those two. There is no other alternative. No, I have refused. There is no such thing as an organised, efficient, productive office meeting. Never.) you need help in making these things tolerable. And I have just the thing.

What you need is Mischief. 

Go like this: When it is your turn to make a contribution, say something like:

“We have to find a way of promulgating a synergistic policy structure to plot a schematic to map the way forward, you get, eh?”

They nod. You continue.

“We have to keep an end-result-oriented, market-driven approach to this programme. Pro-active is the word of the day, we have to move pro-actively towards a paradigm shit.”

Now wait. Look around innocently.

There should be a sudden silence in the room. Some of the younger staff members may be giggling. Look at them and ask, “What? What did I say?”

One of them will break down and tell you that you said paradigm “shit”. Deny it stubbornly. “No. I said Shift. Paradigm Shift.”

The meeting could be diverted now into a discussion over whether you said Shit or Shift. Don’t stop them. Fuel the fire by standing your ground and refusing to concede an inch. But after a few moments, you could draw them back home:

“We are not here to discuss simanyi if people said Paradigm Shift or simanyi what. Let us get back to the issue. I was saying that, we as a team have to get together and move forward in the same direction on this.”

Some dude who feels like being the levelheaded one will agree. You can use his nodding head and his mutterings of assertion as a springboard to add:

“We can’t just sit here twiddling our bums. We must take a good look outside the box to explore opportunities in untapped regions.”

Repeat  as above. Insist that you said “twiddling our thumbs!” Do not countenance any suggestion that you said anything but thumbs.

After a while the meeting may return to normal. Let them think they are safe for a while then when it is almost time to end, hit them with:

“I hope we all take what we have discussed here to heart, and assiduously apply what we have resolved. Remember, we must move forward together as a team. We are a strong team, we are a motivated team. Remember, guys, divided we fall, but urinal we what? We stand!”

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