Six Contributing Factors To Inefficient Meetings

Adriana Girdler

Are you meeting all day and getting nothing done? When was the last time you attended an efficient meeting? The right people were invited and …

Are you meeting all day and getting nothing done?

When was the last time you attended an efficient meeting? The right people were invited and were present. The topic was clear and discussions where based on the agenda items sent to you in advance of the meeting. Action items with due dates and responsibilities were created during the meeting and then immediately distributed to the attendees. And as you left the meeting, which only lasted 30 minutes, you said to yourself, “wow, that was a great meeting and we got so much accomplished!” Meeting - bored

For most people, the sad truth is that this doesn’t happen very often. Meetings are called to ‘solve problems’ or ‘make decisions’ but, unfortunately, this is often the last thing they actually do. If anything, they can create more problems by delaying decisions and wasting people’s time. Instead of doing something worthwhile, they were sitting around a table wondering when the meeting would be over.

Remember, the movie Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray when he was stuck repeating the same day over and over? In essence, that’s how corporate meetings play out in boardrooms across the country, except that no one’s learning from them and there’s no Hollywood happy ending in sight.

Top contributing factors to ineffective meetings

So what are the biggest contributing factors to meeting ineffectiveness? As per Janine Popick blog, Don’t Let Meetings Suck your Time, she suggests that there are 6 contributing factors:

  1. Meetings allow people to delay decisions
  2. Most people who are in meetings don’t need to be there
  3. People call meetings because they’re afraid to make a decision
  4. Many people who call a meeting don’t have a clear agenda or objective
  5. People call 30-minute meetings for things that can be decided in 5 minutes
  6. Most meetings cost too much by wasting people’s time

I agree with these 6 factors because I’ve experienced all of them at one time or another when I worked for a large corporation. And I see it with some of my own clients.

I don’t want to suggest all meetings are bad – they just need to be re-purposed and employees taught the fundamentals of creating more effective meetings. The great news is that you can start running an effective and efficient meeting immediately.

If you’re a meeting organizer, make a pact with yourself that you’ll eliminate these 6 contributing factors from your meetings immediately. If you do this, someone at your next meeting might say, “Wow, that was a great meeting and we got so much accomplished!”

Are your meetings efficient or inefficient? We’d like to hear your stories on the good, bad and ugly meetings you’ve experienced.  Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!

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1 thought on “Six Contributing Factors To Inefficient Meetings”

  1. We’re pleased to share the following feedback we received via email. Thanks Snorri, for taking the time to write.

    Your article on the web, ‘Six Contributing Factors To Inefficient Meetings’, is absolutely spot on. I’ve been struggling to reduce the number of meetings I am compelled to attend and have experienced minimal success. I particularly identify with these factors:

    -Most people who are in meetings don’t need to be there
    -Many people who call a meeting don’t have a clear agenda or objective
    -People call 30-minute meetings for things that can be decided in 5 minutes
    -Most meetings cost too much by wasting people’s time

    Warm regards and thanks for a great article.

    Snorri H. Gudmundsson, MBA
    Director, Marketing Stategy
    IceStat

Comments are closed.

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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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