Bad meetings are an issue! They have been for a long time, and I think it’s probably gotten worse during Covid due to Zoom meetings. Here are some characteristics of bad meetings that I’ve noticed.
1. Nobody owns the meeting.
If everybody shows up unsure of who called the meeting and who owns it, then there’s no purpose to the meeting. People will ask themselves why they’re there, what’s the outcome, and what’s the purpose.
2. Wrong people in attendance.
Having the right people in the meeting is crucial. If you have a decision to make, you need certain people’s input and opinions. Sometimes there are too many people in the meeting. If they aren’t going to add anything to the meeting, don’t waste their time. Nobody wants to be added to unnecessary meetings.
3. Lack of preparation.
Prepare ahead of time to ensure you have all the needed information. If your goal is to make a decision, make sure you have the cost, return on the cost, benefits, timeline, etc.
4. Confusing roles.
Determine everyone’s role ahead of time. Decide who will lead it, chime in, and provide technical support. Also, discuss transitions so people know when they should or shouldn’t be involved. It doesn’t take long to talk about these things ahead of time.
There’s a lot of work that goes into meetings. Since we do so much of Zoom now, everyone’s calendars are getting busy. To avoid bad meetings, confirm that it’s a necessary meeting, invite the right people, prepare, and determine roles. Let’s be more thoughtful and purposeful about our meetings in 2022!