Being deluged by meeting
requests? Tired of wasting time listening to windbags tell you how smart they
are when you should be working? Does your boss make you travel to staff meetings
that have meaningless agendas? I feel your pain!
There are some meetings
that are held for valid reasons, at reasonable times that produce positive results,
or at least SOME results. To the people who organize and run those kinds of
meetings, I salute you. Working under these conditions is a pleasure!
To find out if your meeting
is necessary, use the following questions to help eliminate "Meeting Mania."
Be honest about why you are holding, or attending, meetings.
1. Is it a habit? Did you
inherit this meeting from someone else? If you stopped having this meeting would
anyone notice? Does the original project that started this meeting still exist?
Has the department manager whose pet project this was retired or moved on?
2. Is it a defensive meeting?
Is the point of the meeting a departmental, or a company-wide CYA "Cover Your
Asphalt"? Are you spending a lot of time explaining how your group did not gum
up the works?
3. Is anything new accomplished?
Are pertinent new topics introduced? Have any significant updates being covered?
4. Is it for personal aggrandizement?
Is someone's head getting small enough to fit through the door? Is the primary
purpose of the meeting to send higher management reasons to legitimize existence
of an obsolete, or unnecessary, program?
5. Are you dodging work?
Is your normal work backing up while you go from meeting to meeting? Have you
located ancillary meetings and invited yourself?
6. Are you checking on subordinates?
Worried that without meetings you won't know what reporting people are doing?
Is the meeting more about "face" time than productivity? Is there an action-packed
7. Is your boss making you
schedule, or attend, these meetings? Do you feel like a spy returning to drop
a dime on other departments?
8. Are you the right person
to be at, or giving, this meeting? Have your responsibilities changed? Are you
only responsible for part of the project? Do you have meaningful input for each
meeting? Do you gain necessary information that will be used soon in your location?
9. Are customers better
served because this meeting was held? Can stakeholders benefit from improvements
in savings, productivity, efficiency?
If you answered "Yes" to
ANY of these questions, we challenge you to think about possible options for
eliminating these meetings! In our next newsletter let's brainstorm effective
options to eliminate your dreadful overload of meetings. What is your own experience
in meeting avoidance tactics? What ongoing "Meeting Mania" are you involved
in? Drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Still think you MUST have
meetings? Future articles will provide some ideas on how to improve their quality!