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Why Your Meetings Suck

I’ll be honest, I really hate meetings. I never really knew why I hated meetings until I read Re:Work from the fine folks at 37signals. Today I wanted to share with you a few reasons why meetings can kill creativity and hurt your productivity.

Meetings are about concepts, not real work.
Meetings are giant waste of time, energy, and resources. Meetings tend to be more about abstract concepts, rather than real things. When was the last time you had a meeting that that actually got real work done? Probably not in a long time.

Meetings cover a small amount of real information.
Think about the last meeting you had. Did you walk away with any new information you didn’t have before? Or more importantly, was the information presented something that could have been sent in an email? When I run a meeting, it is important to quickly relay critical information that I couldn’t have shared in an email.

Meetings require too much preparation.
If you are getting ready for a meeting, how much time do you take? A half hour? Meetings require a ridiculous amount of mental preparation. When I get meeting agendas emailed to me, I shutter at the thought of how many people are trying to mental prepare for the topics.

Or have you ever been asked to cover something in a meeting? Kiss your productivity goodbye. You are going to end up spending hours getting charts and graphs together, just to cover the budget, or church attendance figures.

What the heck is the goal?
Why are you meeting? Ask your self this every time you are about to call a meeting. Before you interrupt the productivity of 4 or more people, please set a simple goal. A goal that can be achieved in about 30 minuets. 30 minuets, should be the max for your meeting, otherwise it will run on, and nothing will really get done, or said.

So what are your thoughts? Have any other tips for running a better meeting?

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