Have you ever sat in a meeting and not really known what the point of it was?
Perhaps you have walked out of a meeting and thought ‘Well that was a complete waste of time’
Maybe you have been in a meeting when you suddenly realised you hadn’t been listening for the past 10 minutes and wish you had been somewhere else?
Studies show that 50-70% of company meetings are seen as a waste of time – so why have meetings in the first place? Well as Richard Collard from Fed ex says, “Meetings matter because that’s where an organization’s culture perpetuates itself. Meetings are how an organization says ‘You are a member.’
So if that’s true and every day we go to boring meetings full of boring people, then we can’t help but think that this is a boring company. Bad meetings are a source of negative messages about our company and ourselves.
Why are meetings considered a waste of time?
* Most people simply don’t view going to meetings as doing work. You have to make your meetings uptime rather than downtime. They should not be somewhere to go ‘for a rest or a break’ from work, they should be part of what makes work fun.
* Often meetings drag on and one reason is that people don’t appreciate how expensive they are. Another is that there is no agenda – or the agenda is not clearly set and timed.
* One big failure of many meetings is that nothing happens once the meeting ends. People don’t convert decisions into action. The reason for this could be poor note taking – so no-one knows who should have been doing what afterwards – and if you have ever sat in a meeting and had a sense of deja-vu, then you know this is what has happened.
* Too often, people in meetings simply don’t speak their minds. Sometimes the problem is a leader who doesn’t solicit participation. Sometimes a dominant personality intimidates the rest of the group. But most of the time the problem is a simple lack of trust. People don’t feel secure enough to say what they really think. A friend of mine ‘up north’ attends local Chamber of Commerce meetings – where they have electronic voting devices. No-one can see what anyone else has voted, and no-one see the results until all the buttons have been pressed. Therefore people can say what they really feel. That’s one way of doing it!
Good meetings aren’t just about work. They’re about fun — keeping people charged up. It’s more than collaboration, it’s ‘co-liberation’ — people freeing each other up to think more creatively. Because some of the best ideas are created through groups.
If you want to know more about how to create effective and productive meetings that your team will LOVE to attend then click here and I will send you the date and details of my next “Meeting Masterclass for Leaders That Make a Difference”