The top 10 responses were…
- Allowing attendees to ramble and repeat the same comments and thoughts.
- Doesn’t start on time, stay on track, or finish on time.
- No specific action items or walk-away points.
- No clear purpose or objective.
- Not inspiring or motivating.
- Not organized. No agenda.
- Too long.
- Repeating information for late arrivals.
- Weak presenter (unprepared, monotone, overly redundant).
- Boring. Nothing new or interesting.
In my half-century (+1) on this planet, I’ve been a part of leading, keynoting, and attending hundreds of meetings of all sizes and all purposes. Here’s what I think we can do to make meetings better…
If you’re running a meeting…
- Do your best to avoid doing or allowing the things that annoy people (review the list).
- Respect your attendees’ time and attention by preparing well, communicating clearly, and keeping the meeting on track.
- Make the meeting about helping your attendees leave better as a result of having invested their time with you and/ or the group. A helpful question to guide you: What do I hope to have people doing and thinking about in the days/ weeks/ months following the meeting?
- Never fill or kill time. That’s not why we’re here. We’re here to make good things happen for other people.
- When fitting, before the meeting, talk with a few of your more engaged people and encourage them to help you keep enthusiasm and attention high by modeling those behaviors themselves. (It’s part of Leading Simply.)
- If you have D-grunts on your team (people who are disgruntled and work to make things difficult), don’t invite them if at all possible. Then, ask yourself why you’re allowing them to be on your team at all.
If you’re attending a meeting…
- Try to make the time valuable. Allow yourself to get something from it. (There’s almost always something you can get from it.)
- Be a grown-up.
- Be attentive, answer questions, and be a part of the discussion where you can.
- Participate in the same way you’d like people to participate if you were leading the meeting.
- Avoid the D-grunts (those disgruntled people). They don’t make good things happen for people and likely won’t help your career.
And whether you’re running or attending a meeting…
Remember, few meetings are perfect. Give people the break you’d like to be given. (It’s part of Loving Your People.)
Connect. Inform. Learn. Inspire. Bam!
Need a theme for your next meeting? Check out these 6 inspiring messages.