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.
More than a quarter of the respondents also submitted their own additional comments (people are pretty passionate about meetings).
Here's what you can do about it...
If you're running a meeting...
- Do your best to avoid doing or allowing the things that annoy people (review the list above).
- Respect your attendees' time and attention by preparing well, communicating well, 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 (get the poster).
- When fitting, before the meeting, connect 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 (people who are disgruntled and work to make things difficult) on your team, don't invite them if at all possible. Then ask yourself why you're allowing them to be on your team at all. Life's too short to tolerate D-grunts.
If you're attending a meeting...
- Make the time valuable. Allow yourself to get something from the meeting. (There’s almost always something of value when you look for 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. (Really.)
And whether your running the meeting or attending it...
Remember, perfection is tough. Give people the break you’d like to be given. (It’s one of the ways to Love Your People.)
Connect. Inform. Learn. Inspire. (Enjoy!)