31 Ways Your Meetings Are Inefficient

Inefficient Meetings

Meetings are one of the biggest time wasters in most companies.

Yet, much of this pain is self-inflicted.

Poorly run meetings lead to wasted time, de-moralized employees, and loss of productivity.

Are meetings in your company run efficiently?

Meetings Are Not Easy

It would seem that holding a meeting is easy.

Pick a time/location, choose some colleagues, and send out the invites.

What could go wrong?

Yet, running an effective and efficient meeting is anything but easy.

Most companies don’t do meetings right. They end up being time wasters and incur tremendous costs ranging from payroll to productivity to employee morale.

Running an effective meeting is difficult and requires preparation and skill.

Here are 31 Ways That Your Meetings are Inefficient:

  1. They don’t start them on time.
  2. They don’t end on time.
  3. They are held in a bad location.
  4. The wrong attendees are invited.
  5. There are too many attendees.
  6. No decisions are made.
  7. Follow-up action is not tracked.
  8. The meeting is recurring for no reason.
  9. There is no agenda.
  10. The agenda is not adhered to.
  11. No individual accountability. (The group did it. Or didn’t do it.)
  12. Scheduled for longer time than needed.
  13. No one prepares in advance.
  14. You are using a PowerPoint presentation of more than 10 slides.
  15. You are using Powerpoint at all.
  16. Inappropriate things are allowed to be said because it is “behind closed doors.”
  17. One person is allowed to dominate the conversation either by personality or title.
  18. Disagreements or debates are not allowed. Everyone is expected to agree and say “Yes.”
  19. People “work” on other tasks during the meeting.
  20. Individuals are allowed to “play” on their phones, iPads, and laptops during the meeting.
  21. Facts are not questioned. In other words, whatever is said is accepted as true.
  22. Meetings are mandatory.
  23. People are allowed to attend who don’t participate.
  24. Food is part of the meeting.
  25. Scheduled at the last minute.
  26. Scheduled with no regard to conflicts of attendees’ existing calendars.
  27. Canceled at the last minute.
  28. Team members are allowed to bully others during the meeting.
  29. The meeting starts over when late attendees finally arrive.
  30. Half of the meeting is spent fighting technology problems.
  31. The meeting topic could have been a simple email to the team.

Make Your Meetings Better

Take a look at how your organization conducts meetings.

Which of these are common issues in your company?

Don’t let bad meetings ruin your day and productivity.

Make your meetings better today. 

Question: What is the biggest meeting mistake in your company? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Wow, what a great list. We can all find at least one thing that can help us improve our meetings here. I really like # 20. Thanks for sharing Craig.

    • Love #20, as well. I am a big fan of “techless” meetings.

      Check your tech at the door. 🙂

  • Arijit Banerjea

    This is a great checklist Craig for a quiz, “What’s your MQ (meeting quotient)! I love no 31 most of all!

  • Chris Farrell

    In regards to #20, we have a standing order for management meetings that no tech is allowed. We use a dedicated laptop in the room for presentations. Now, if only we can reduce the use of Powerpoint…..

    • I would love to see a company ban PowerPoint entirely… 😉

  • gadfly1974

    No food?!? Why not? The best meetings I’ve attended, the most productive, have included food.

    • I recommend *meeting* first… then food.

      Provides good incentive for making decisions, taking action, and ending on time. 🙂

      • gadfly1974

        That makes sense!

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  • All day meetings where participants are given minimal breaks. I find this totally unproductive. Meetings where participants are allowed to check email/text. Great post Craig.

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  • parker hansen

    One of the things that stands out for me is #7 follow-up action is not tracked. I don’t know about anybody else but in my meetings, there’s so much work we talk about that needs to get done, but two months later we still haven’t completed the task and I wonder why we have these meetings in the first place. Meetings can def. be a huge time waster. Great post.

  • Awesome post! This is the most comprehensive list of how people do meetings wrong I’ve seen. I think #6, #7, #9 and #10 are the most common AND have the most impact on meetings being ineffective. Few more that come to mind:

    32. Try to cover too many topics in too little time
    33. Person with the authority to actually make the decision is not there
    34. No clear decision rule (who decides?)
    35. People go off on tangents and no one’s willing to interrupt them
    36. People focus on defending their own positions instead of understanding others’
    37. People don’t say what they’re really thinking… until there in the hallway afterwards

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