Respect the End of the Meeting

Respsect the End of the Meeting

I was recently in a meeting with about a dozen people.

The meeting’s end time arrived, and yet the meeting didn’t end.

In fact, it just kept going. The individual speaking kept droning on. People started getting uncomfortable in their seats and shuffling their belongings.

Have you ever been in a meeting that just wouldn’t end?

When Is The Meeting Over?

When do your meetings end? When the clock says it’s over? Or when people stop talking?

If you let them, meetings will continue indefinitely. They will expand to fill any amount of time you give them. I have seen 1 hour meetings turn into whole day affairs.

In my recent meeting episode, the speaker just kept talking. He acted like he was in a congressional filibuster, and I guess he figured if he didn’t stop talking that everyone would be forced to stay.

After a few minutes of awkward shuffling in chairs, people finally gave up. They got up anyway and departed while this individual continued to speak.

It wasn’t that they were trying to be disrespectful to this person. In fact, the speaker was being disrespectful to all of the attendees present.

“Be respectful of everyone’s time and end the meeting on time.” (Tweet this Quote)

Just because you are mis-managing your time doesn’t mean that every else should, too. Just because you have another 10, 15, or 60 minutes to waste doesn’t mean everyone else in the room (or on the line) does. If there are additional discussions to be held, then schedule additional time at a later date, or get with people one-on-one for individual needs.

Ending the meeting on time and let everyone get on with their planned day.

Respect the End (of the Meeting)

You must be diligent to end your meetings at the allotted time or they will continue as long as you allow.

Respecting the end of the meeting also respects others that are in attendance.

Always end your meetings on time.

Question: How do you ensure that your meetings end on schedule? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

5 thoughts on “Respect the End of the Meeting

  1. I remind the person leading the meeting when we have 5 minutes left, and announce that everyone is free to leave at the agreed-upon end time. Being direct, with a brief warning that gives leaders time to bring their thoughts in for a landing, works consistently.

  2. Hey Craig, knowing when the meeting will end (has to end!) is what makes us arrive prepared for the meeting. Conversely entering a meeting without sufficient preparation might lead to the meeting spilling over into ‘extra time’. Therefore, chances are that a meeting which is dragging on is not a very productive one!

  3. Since I am usually leading the virtual meeting – I am a coach, I set a timer and about 5 minutes before it’s time to wrap up, I tell my client – we have about 5 minutes left, so let’s summarize. Any items not covered on our agenda are pushed to another session. Preparation, having a goal, and being respectful..

  4. Because meetings tend to go long, I’ll often schedule something—anything—as a hard stop to a meeting so that I can leave. It sends a subtle message to others that we’ve overstepped our commitment. Thanks for these great ideas, Craig.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *