7 Reasons Why Most Business Meetings Are a Waste of Time

7 o'clockI’ve attended thousands of businesses meetings during my career and the vast majority of them were big wastes of time, chewing up countless hours with no purpose, no action plan and no next steps. I admit that I have been guilty of poor leadership on occasion, so in writing today’s Struming I am recommitting to never being guilty of the 7 sins below. Here are the 7 reasons why most meetings are a waste:

1. No agenda
Every business meeting should have an agenda. The meeting should have a specific purpose, not merely a general discussion of issues

2. No time parameters
Good meetings are short, crisp and time is allocated consistent with the meeting objectives. Poor meetings are long endless and unfocused. BTW, not being on time is not cool. It is incredibly disrespectful to others.

3. Poor meeting leadership
The meeting leader needs to drive the group’s effort toward a goal. He/she needs to keep the group on track, and cannot let someone hijack the meeting and filibuster.

4. No agreements
Soft discussion and posturing without agreements provides no resolution of issues. Everyone needn’t be happy with the outcome, but there should be resolutions

5. Too many attendees
The smaller the meeting, the better. With (too) large a group, attendees feel the need to weigh in to make their presence felt.

6. Too many remote attendees
While sometimes attendees need to be remote, it is also a certainty that remote attendees are less engaged that those who are physically present. We all know that body language is at least important as the spoken word, and physically “being there” is best, if possible.

7. No notes and action steps
It’s critical to memorialize the resolutions with the agreements, action steps, responsibilities and timing.

We all have sat through dreadful, time wasting meetings. Resolve to take a meeting leadership role and never be guilty of the 7 sins. Attendees will appreciate your leadership.

PS Put away your cell phones during meetings

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