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Boring Meetings Suck: Get More Out of Your Meetings, or Get Out of More Meetings by Jon Petz

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Never-Ending Meetings Suck

You're looking at your watch again, wishing the speaker would look at his watch. Doesn't he realize it's 4:45 on Friday afternoon, well beyond the posted 4:30 end time? You still have an important e-mail to compose, edit, and send before you can go home for the weekend.

You look around and read the same thing on everyone's faces: We've accomplished all we possibly can in this meeting. Like you, the other eight people around your conference table are conspiring to end this meeting so everyone can finish up and get out for the weekend.

Yet here you sit, tuning out Long-Winded Louie and wishing desperately to be back at your desk. Now it's 5 PM, and he's still going with no conclusion in sight.

Why do never-ending meetings happen? Oh, there are more reasons than are listed here, I know, but let's start with these:

  • Poor chairperson facilitation
  • Little or no preparation
  • Too many items to talk about with not enough time planned
  • Low activity from participants in the meeting, thus lack of progress on achieving the goals of the meeting or reaching any consensus
  • Tangents (see “Dogs Who Get Off the Leash Suck” under Agenda Item 4)
  • Distractions (see “Distractions Suck” under Agenda Item 7)
  • Delays to make the meeting look like participants are accomplishing something so they don't actually have to do anything

Who's to blame for those horrid never-ending meetings? You! Yup, you're to blame because you allow these reasons to dictate what happens.

A driving theme of ...

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