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A Decision or Grandstanding? When Hearings Mean Speeches

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Senate confirmation hearings are part of a time-honored American tradition. Every committee member has thirty minutes to ask questions, but most of this time is not used for either questions or answers. Instead, senators spend most of their time promoting themselves.

In a Seattle Times editorial, Carl Jeffers finds fault with the process more egregious than the political positions of candidates. He calls this grandstanding a “broken process”, even sarcastically suggesting that:

Maybe we need hearings on the hearings process, rather than on the nominee. That might be more useful.

Meetings are a part of work, even for a workplace as illustrious as the United States Senate. It is appropriate to gather employees together to make a decision, but if that meeting does not have a productive structure you may end up with more posturing and speechmaking than actual discussion.

consulting on hearings

© Flickr user Office of Governor Patrick

Chances are good that your own employer has meetings just like this one. You’re there to make an important decision, but most of the time people chatter about unrelated topics or generally waste time. Consider the following examples:

  • Job interviews where the interviewer does most of the talking
  • Meetings where several participants say nothing
  • Unorganized thoughts presented in a rambling conversation
  • Presentations where the speaker reads the slides, word for word

If the conference room at your office is taking away from work, consider reaching out to the speakers and consultants at AccelaWork. Our team helps organizations make more effective use of time and ensure that meetings help the company to succeed.

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Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. He is a nationally known speaker on topics related to personal productivity, corporate efficiency and employee engagement. Robby is the founder of AccelaWork, a company which provides speakers and consultants to a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, regional non-profits, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Robby has written numerous articles for national magazines and has over one hundred published pieces. He is also the author of several books, including Failure: The Secret to Success. He has also been interviewed by international news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Robby’s newest book is The Battle For Your Email Inbox.
Robby Slaughter


Troublemaker and productivity/workflow expert. Slightly more complex than 140 characters will permit.
@LaceyEverett @thenerdherd @naptownbri @indystar Well, when the original source doesn’t answer the questions, people start to speculate. - 4 weeks ago
Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter

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