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Discussion on: Daily Standup Meetings are useless

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David Israel

I read a meme that said that most managers are sociopaths so I guess it's okay to explain to a boss that he is most likely one?

If your background culture is one already overburdened with pointless meetings, this would just be another one. If your background culture is one with few if any meetings (as is mine), this one routine can be seen for the value it adds.

No if that were the case attendance would be voluntary. A mandatory meeting where at least part of the point is accountability is not that meeting at all.

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Bernd Wechner

Yeah, lots of managers are sociopaths and CEOs reputedly psychopaths. Believe it or not we can joke about that here too. Perhaps that's a difference between Australia and the US? And if you had a major falling and were quitting or being sacked it would be totally cool to suggest that your boss too yeah ;-).

Can't help but think you have a very different work culture background. Wouldn't surprise me, I've not worked in the US but with many who have and had many US customers and the take home has indeed usually been a huge difference in workplace culture (and rarely flattering of the US I might add).

See I'm not even sure what you mean by mandatory and voluntary. These are not words that crop up much in working life here in any context, let alone meetings. Much rather we would speak of expectation that you attend a given meeting, and of course the importance in a sense, of any such expectation would depend on who is doing the expecting ... Certainly for team wide meetings.

Very small meetings, two or three people to discuss something, of course, the expectation is high and he meeting rescheduled if one of the required participants is not there (fails to show for whatever reason).

For a team wide meeting the expectation is always between your poles of mandatory and voluntary, not quite at either of them. If you can't make it fine. If you have a conflicting priority, fine. In that sense, not mandatory. But you are expected to attend and not coming without some reason would encourage a conversation (between the expector and the expectee) and the nature of that conversation is entirely defined by the relationship between the expector and expectee and nature of the expectation and non-compliance. But by no means does that qualify for the label voluntary. So neither mandatory, nor voluntary have any place in our meeting workplace culture.

Are these common terms in yours? In the US generally?

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David Israel

Its not a voluntary meeting - quit playing semantics (or does that not translate either?).

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Bernd Wechner

David, semantics are not a play! Semantics are the study of meaning. And meaning and intent are central to communication and comprehension. There is no such thing as "just" semantics.

We clearly have very disparate work cultures and experiences. As stated, yes, it's not voluntary, nor is it mandatory, it's expected ... I suspect this linguistic difference relates to our distance from the UK (in time). That is the US separated a good century before Australia and so our language is far close to the UK than yours still (has had less time to diverge). And harsh words like mandatory are not so common here in workplace. They exist, but are reserved for things like legal obligations.

I find it puzzling that in one comment you speculate that I maybe lack empathy,and in another you dismiss these cultural differences as playing semantics, as if people don't react differently to different presentations (another thing we've both agreed they do).

Is your work culture devoid of expectation? No-one expect you to come to work? To deliver any outcomes? To execute any tasks? Our work relations are driven by expectations. What is it to you if in addition you are expected to attend a meeting? I have honestly never encountered such stubborn insistence that a workplace expectation as simple as attending a 10 minute meeting routinely should be deemed so offensive, in particular if accountability figures in any way shape or form in the motivation or justification for the meeting.

I admit I am finding that novel in the extreme. I wonder if any other punters will weigh in, I'd like to see a seconder, someone else who find these things so offensive. It's totally new to me.

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Davide de Paolis Author

honestly i find these distinctions pointless.
we are at work, we are supposed to be working, we are paid to do so.
there are requirements, expectations to be met, performance standards to be achieved.
some meeting are declared as mandatory - like an All Hands from C levels - or mandatorylike - considered part of the team routing, ie sprint planning, standups and other techincal discussions - and voluntary - like those meetings to face some incident and any people that thinks that contribute can join.

work culture is in fact different, and not only from country to country, but from company to company. honestly i have no idea what the consequence of missing a mandatory meeting could be.. a reprimand, being dismissied, low rating in performance feedback? this is not the point right here.
honestly i don't know anymore what your point is @uclusion about the article and standups in general since you have been jumping around picking words and starting threads about those derailing the main discussion.

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Bernd Wechner

I have a feeling that David has just had a bad hair day (or so the idiom goes in Australia). It's been sort of fun, I like hearing diverse perspectives and from different work cultures. But with his strong and adamant and judgmental voice, I fear David has not been a walking advertisement for Uclusion. There is much room for diversity in this world including those who see value in different things.

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Davide de Paolis Author

i share the same view. thank you for expressing it so well.

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Cameren Dolecheck

This was an interesting thread to read through. Your responses were well explained and thorough, surprisingly so given the tone of the other participant.