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Stop pointless meetings (and walking into lamp posts)

Tags: Presentations | Impact | Leadership

1st October

 
If I were about to walk into a lamp post, what advice would you give me? I imagine…

"Stop"

And you'd be right. I mean, why would anyone keep going on a path which was only going to get more painful?

Which brings me onto meetings…

Some of those you attend will be pointless, useless and mind-numbing wastes of time. To keep going on this path will only make things more painful. My advice to you?

"Stop"

And, by this, I mean meetings that…

  • Add nothing to the business – stop having them
  • Add nothing to you – stop attending them
  • Include people who can't contribute – stop inviting them
  • Substitute discussion for decision-making – stop them being an excuse for inaction
  • Are too long – stop putting an hour if you don’t need it
  • Always start late – stop starting them late! It's disrespectful of everyone's time
  • Nobody has done the prep for – stop the meeting, and say you’ll re-convene when people have done the necessary pre-work. Anything else will waste everyone's time

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But people often don’t welcome this advice. They describe their regular meetings as being in a Comfort Zone. But nobody feels comfortable with them. So, it isn't a Comfort Zone it's a Habit Zone. Can you break yours, and avoid that painful lamp post?

Action point

There are lots of potential actions this week – see the list of bullet points above.

And how many of them should you do? Definitely more than none.