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How to NOT Run a Meeting

This is a great video from "Working for the Man" on what often happens in the infamous "brainstorming session." Much of this may seem oddly familiar.

Check out the entire post for some other meeting no-nos. A few I'd add to the list:

  • Not reading any of the meeting materials ahead of time, even when they've been supplied well in advance, so that much of the meeting is taken up with repeating what could have been read earlier. 
  • Not identifying someone to take notes in the meeting (particularly about action steps) so that much of the next meeting can be taken up with arguing about who should have followed up on what from the previous meeting.
  • Having a meeting with only a vague idea of its purpose, as if the act of getting together will magically make something happen, although no one is sure what should happen or why.

Any of these sound familiar? What are your meeting pet peeves?


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My FAVORITE clarifying statement to rescue a meeting is this:

This meeting will be a success if _________.

And it helps if everyone agrees on how to fill in the blank!

I have a solution that seems to work. If the person chairing the meeting hasn't prepared an agenda (has a clear idea of what is planned for the meeting) I won't go. No one else should either. Amazing after a couple of times how this at least indicates expectations. Oops, and table thumping ... no way.

These are great ideas for improving meetings--thank you! Kate, I especially agree with not going when there isn't a clear agenda, at least if you can get away with it. :-)

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