7 Ways to Ruin a Meeting Before It Begins

7 Ways to Ruin a Meeting

Sometimes you know it’s going to be a bad meeting before it even begins.

You can tell as you enter the conference room that you are walking into a gathering of disorganization and chaos.

How do you avoid these time-wasting meetings?

Planning a Bad Meeting

Many meetings are a waste of time even before they start.

The signs are there: lack of details, lack of purpose, and total disorganization.

These are bad meetings, and they should be avoided.

Scheduling a meeting shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it takes discipline and planning to make sure that the time is well spent.

“The majority of  business meetings are ruined due to lack of planning, organization, and preparation.”

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It is interesting how tightly some companies try to control small expenses, yet anyone in the company is permitted to call a meeting of a dozen people and waste thousands of payroll dollars.

Often, hastily scheduled meetings result in wasting large numbers of wasted hours, especially when you multiple it by all of those present.

Here are 7 Ways to Ruin a Meeting Before It Begins:

  1. Don’t Give Enough Advance Notice – Sending out an email notice mere hours (or minutes) before a meeting is silly. You cannot expect co-workers to be sitting at their inbox waiting for your invite and ready to drop their entire schedule to make your meeting. Make sure you send invites at least a few days before the appointed time.
  2. Invite Too Many People – One of the quickest ways to cause chaos at a meeting is to invite too many people. I was at a recent meeting where 42 people were invited. There was simply no chance of a coherent conversation with that many people. Keep the invite list for your meetings to the absolute minimum, and avoid duplicate representation.
  3. Not Providing Advanced Material – Ever walked into a meeting only to be handed the documents to review as you entered the room? Not a productive start. Always distribute pertinent materials in advance. As well, if there is action to be taken before the meeting, make sure you call that out to the attendees.
  4. Provide No Topic or Agenda – A meeting without a topic or agenda, might as well not happen. Why are you getting together? If no one knows, they cannot be ready to discuss. Ensure your meeting invites have an accurate description and an outlined agenda of topics.
  5. Book the Wrong Meeting Place – The wrong meeting room can ruin a meeting. Too big and the conversation feels awkward. Too small of a room, and your attendees will not be able to get comfortable. Pick the right room for the size and audience of your meeting.
  6. Don’t Prepare in Advance – No preparation will kill a meeting before it starts. If you walk into the room at the last second, then spend 20 minutes getting the computer working or making handouts, you have already wasted half of the time. Make sure that all preparation is done in advance of the start time.
  7. Have No Planned Outcome – Every meeting should have a planned success or outcome. What is to be accomplished in the meeting? It could be a decision to be made, or a budget approved. Whatever it is, make it part of the meeting details when you send out the invites.

Avoid Time Wasting Meetings

Many meetings are a waste of time before they begin.

Others would be better off as a conversation than a meeting.

Avoid these 7 meeting pitfalls to create successful meetings, accomplish business goals, and be more productive at work.

Question: What signs of bad meetings do you see in the workplace? You can leave a comment by clicking here.