How not to chair a meeting (Rousse)

All eyes were on me as the chair of the meeting. This made me very uncomfortable. It didn’t help that everyone had (unusually) turned up on this occasion so the room was packed with (mainly) men in suits (as well as a couple in kilts), all keen to show off their knowledge and undermine my authority.

I should have been better prepared and paid closer attention to the agenda and order of papers. Instead I just looked a fool when I told a psychologist that her idea of investing in research into the information behaviours and use of various demographic groups was pointless given the body of work on this theme in the Library and Information Science literature. A grey-haired man at the other side of the table made a patronising remark that meant ‘Stop boring us with your pointless conversation and take control of this meeting, you hopeless woman’.

When I finally steered everyone to the end of the business another grey-haired man flounced up to me and cruelly declared ‘Well, that didn’t go very well, did it?’ I looked around for support, but there was nobody prepared to provide any.

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