Spinning off one of our most popular posts ever “8 Important tips to help you waste time in meetings – Make bad meetings worse!” (Close to 800 Facebook Shares as of today), I have included a more serious follow-up to these tongue-in-cheek tips below.
At the end of this post you will also find a slide presentation that includes my 8 tongue-in-cheek tips that you can use in your next training or presentation on effective meetings. Please feel free to share as well.
1. Invite Everyone! Actually don’t invite everyone.
It is way too common for people to be invited to a meeting in which only 10% or less applies to them. Put those who need to attend only for a portion of the meeting at the top of the agenda and give them permission to leave when done.
It is also important to look through the list of participants and ask yourself, who really needs to be at the meeting. If they don’t, then don’t invite them. You owe it to them.
2. Only Start The Meeting Once Everyone Has Arrived. Good tip if you want to ensure that no one ever shows up on time!
A meeting facilitator who waits for everyone to join is being inconsiderate to those who show up on time.
Also, remember that those who are late can get caught up on what has been discussed by others at a later time, not during the meeting. One of my biggest pet peeves is a meeting facilitator who feels she has to get those who are late caught up on what has been discussed during the meeting. How about you?
3. Never, Never, Never Have An Agenda. Great tip if you are aiming for tangents and a real lack of focus.
I could write an entire post on agendas and how to use them in meetings. I will save that for a later time.
4. Those Leading The Meeting Must Do All The Talking. Important tip if you really think you have all the answers. If that is the case, why have a meeting?
A good meeting facilitator recognizes the power and creativity of participation from everyone in the meeting. They are skilled in facilitation.
5. Only Those With “Good” Ideas Should Provide Them. Do you want to stifle participation completely? If you don’t carefully listen and consider all ideas, you are well on your way!
6. Let People “Multitask” During Meetings. Use this tip if you feel “multitasking” works.
The reality is multitasking is a myth. In fact our IQ drops to the same level as someone who just smoked marijuana or has lost an entire night of sleep!
7. Never Give Assignments. So you like wasting time in meetings? Then this tip is perfect!
Action items should not only be reviewed at the end of every meeting, but it is also important to make sure that everyone is clear on the items and has truly committed to them.
8. Never End A Meeting On Time! I heard it said the other day that the brain will only absorb what the butt can endure.
What makes someone think that their meeting is more important than the next meeting? If anything, strive to end five minutes early, it is just common courtesy.
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