In a perfect world, every meeting would be short and to the point, start and end on time, and result something meaningful getting accomplished. But in the real world, many are too long, start late and end later, and nothing really gets done.
And that’s frustrating for a lot of managers who think they have much better things to do. In fact, a ManageElite survey of 948 upper-level executives, directors, middle managers and frontline supervisors found nothing gets accomplished in 44.8% of the meetings executives and managers attend.
Of their last 10 meetings they attended:
• 51% say nothing happened in half of the meetings
• 53% of that group said nothing was accomplished in seven of the meetings, and
• Only 8.9% say something was accomplished in all 10 meetings.
Conversely, and ironically, these same managers believe they do a great job when they run meetings: 90.4% say meetings they run are conducted efficiently.
What did people say kept meetings from being effective?
• 44.7%, people protecting their turf
• 38.3%, one or two people dominating the discussion
• 34.6%, defensiveness
• 31.7%, internal politics, and
•30.9%, people not prepared.
So if nearly half of all meetings are a colossal waste of everyone’s time, how can you ensure that the ones you take part in are worthwhile? Consider these four critical “rules”:
• Have a purpose for getting together
• Agree on a desired outcome (what exactly do you need to get done)
• Assign roles (spell out why participants are included), and
• Create an agenda (and stick to it).