12 Ways to Make Your Next Meeting Your Worst Meeting

Studies show that we spend about 15 percent of our work week in meetings. If you’re lucky, right? Many of these meetings are a huge waste of time … and money.

We thought we’d list some ways to make sure the next meeting you run is a bad one:

#1 – Call a meeting even if you don’t have anything to discuss.
Better yet, just call a meeting on the fly because an important issue has come up for you, and you need answers now! It’s important to you so it must be the most important thing for everyone else.

#2 – If in doubt about whether someone should attend the meeting, invite them.

Or just call an all staff meeting, even if it only affects a small percentage of the group. It may be peripheral to their jobs, but they should hear it anyway!

#3 – Make your agenda so vague that no one knows what the meeting is about.

Don’t distribute it in advance so people can come to the meeting prepared. Keep them in the dark about what’s going to be discussed. The best way to do this – don’t have an agenda at all.

#4 – Don’t start the meeting on time.
Or up the ante … don’t be on time for your own meeting. It doesn’t matter if everyone is waiting for you. Your time is more valuable than theirs.

#5 – Kick off the meeting on a negative note.
Tell everyone how bad things are. Look for scapegoats – call them out in front of their peers. People just love that.

#6 – Don’t stick to the schedule.
Or don’t have a schedule at all. Who really cares when this meeting will be over? Nothing is more important than your meeting. Nobody else has anything to do.

#7 – Don’t ever defer a conversation to a later date.
Even if a point of discussion starts eating into precious time, keep it on the table. It was on your agenda, so it must be dealt with today. The meeting can either go long or you can just give the other points less attention.

#8 – Do most of the talking.
Don’t plan for participation. People love to hear you talk. Dominate the conversation. There’s no need for you to listen during a meeting. That’s certainly won’t help solve any problems.

#9 – When someone presents an idea, be quick to shoot them down.
There will be no free flow of ideas in your meeting! You’re in control. Who do they think they are anyway?

#10 – No matter how long your meeting runs, don’t take any breaks.
People love to just sit and sit and sit. It’s best to introduce new ideas to your staff or try to find the solution to an ongoing problem after they feel lethargic from a lack of activity. And of course, no one needs to use the restroom.

#11 – Let that guy (or gal), who loves to hear himself (or herself) talk, go on and on.
Don’t cut them off. Don’t bring the meeting back to its focus.

#12 – Make sure nothing gets accomplished.
When the meeting is finally over, there should be no plans for action, no decisions should have been made, no issues should get resolved, and no follow up should be scheduled. People love sitting around in meetings that don’t accomplish anything.

Our bigg quote today is by Steve Kaye:

“An employee who needs permission to buy a box of paperclips can spend
tens of thousands of dollars worth of employee time on bad meetings.”

Waste is waste … whether it’s paper clips or time.

What are your pet peeves about meetings? Leave a Comment and let us know.

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(Image by wagg66)

3 replies
  1. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    It seems like I spend so much time in meetings that I don’t get anything done. Worse yet, it seems like nothing really gets accomplished in the meetings. At the end of many days, I feel as if I just wasted my time. Why do some managers insist on so many meetings? I don’t understand.

    Reply
  2. George and Mary-Lynn
    George and Mary-Lynn says:

    We hear your frustration loud and clear, Melanie! We wish we could wave a bigg wand and make them go away. Meetings can serve a useful purpose…but too much of a “good” thing can produce the opposite effect.

    Reply

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    A guide to wasting everyone’s time….

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