3 Ways To Ruin A Meeting

Every year billions of dollars are wasted in non-productive meetings. Everything from the wrong people being invited, attendees not attending, people are interrupting the meeting by coming in late with their own agendas and the list could go on and on.

Eliminating three basic causes will go a long way in reducing the number of items on the list, increasing meeting productivity and ultimately reduce waste.

#1: Structure spoils spontaneity.

Success is planned.  Start with a goal and an agenda. Webster defines agenda as a list of things to be done especially in preparation for a meeting. A successful meeting will start on time, be conducted with a clear, concise agenda, be controlled in order to achieve the initial goal and end on time.

#2: Since it’s my meeting I should do all the talking.

Meetings are called to discuss needed actions and gather opinion. If you’re the only one talking, you’re working too hard. Related issues that pop up should be dealt with by calling another meeting because the people necessary to resolve the new issues may not be in the room and adding to the agenda means that in order to end on time issues people came prepared to discuss will need to be set aside. Tangential or peripheral issues should be relegated to a “parking lot” and either dismissed or dealt with accordingly.

#3: Meetings are free.

Meetings are very expensive. Time costs and if the meeting takes away billable time that time will have to be made up somewhere, usually through overtime or project cost overruns.

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