Are perceptions of value a fair assessment of meeting effectiveness?

Pivotal to the measurement of meeting effectiveness is the micro-poll, which enables the attendees at the meeting to rate their perception meeting effectiveness in a single click at the end of each meeting.
The micro-poll is simple and easy to respond to (click on a face below to see), but is it a fair and accurate measure of meeting effectiveness? Surely meetings are far more complex and varied than can be captured by a single expression?
It is true, meetings are very complex and very varied, far too complex for any purely computational model to cope with, which is precisely why we need human interpretation to come up with the right answer.

But are the people attending the meeting sufficiently qualified to evaluate its effectiveness? We would argue that they are, but to understand why requires us to re-examine what meetings are actually for.
Many people see meetings as a task or activity, but they are actually a process. And the output of that process lies in the difference in the people who leave the room compared to the people who arrived. If everybody leaves a meeting unchanged, then the meeting may as well have never taken place.
Conversely, if people leave a meeting with new understanding and commitment to do (perhaps different) things with greater commitment or confidence, then the meeting has added value. And the best judges of whether people have received valuable understanding, commitment or confidence are the people themselves.
Perhaps for some people in the meeting, their part is about contributing to the understanding and insight of others, but even so, it is still important that they understand that they have added such value.
Participant perspective
Providing data and insight to others
New understanding
Appreciation of its impact & value
Commitment to do something with it
So what happens if people receive value, but do not appreciate its value? Has the meeting then added value that is unrecognised? Would the feedback be inaccurate in this situation?
People behave according to their perceptions. If they perceive that the information they have received is of no value, they will act as if it has no value, and the practical result will be that any value it might have had will be unrealised.
Is that fair? Is that a fair reflection?
Of the meeting, yes. Of you, no! But, and this is VERY important to understand, the feedback is not measuring you, it is measuring the meeting – and you were only one factor among many in its perceived effectiveness. You just happen to be in the best place to do something about it.


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