Ep. 348: 10 Tips to Liberate You from the Grind of Bad Meetings

How to Have Productive Meetings

Who should listen: This episode is for anyone who wants to improve the efficiency of their meetings.

Key idea: Leaders and participants are equally responsible for the efficiency and effectiveness of business meetings.

You may not remember this, but when desktop computers first became a staple in the workplace, corporate America was enamored with visions of the paperless office. There would be no need for paper anymore because everything could be saved on a disk or hard drive. Well, we all know that never happened.

We could make a similar observation about meetings. No matter the technology—email, text messages, and file sharing—we still find the need to meet with one another. And those meetings haven’t become any fewer nor has their quality gotten any better despite our growing technological sophistication.

Consider these numbers reported by Booqed.com:

How many meetings?

  • Since 2000, the time spent in meetings has risen annually between 8% and 10%.
  • Of surveyed employees, 51% say they are attending more meetings with nearly 83% spending more than one-third of their work week in video meetings.
  • Depending on whether they’re a junior level employee, a director, or above, employees can have between 8 and 17 scheduled meetings each week. (Across all industries, marketing and advertising have the greatest number of meetings.)

How much wasted time and money?

  • 71% of professionals say they waste time every week due to cancelled or unnecessary meetings.
  • 31 hours (more than a full day) are spent on unproductive meetings every month. ‍
  • Average delay per meeting for employees is 10 minutes and 40 seconds, equivalent to 3 days and 2 hours lost annually.
  • Average delay for senior executives is 15 minutes and 42 seconds. That’s 5 days and 19 hours lost annually!

In the end, it’s not surprising that 47% of employees surveyed reported that meetings were the worst for wasting their time at work, while 45% felt overwhelmed by the number of meetings they attended.

In this week’s Stay Paid episode, we offer 10 tips—5 tips for meeting leaders and 5 tips for meeting participants that can turn these numbers around.

How to have a successful meeting: 5 tips for meeting leaders

As we often do, we encourage you to listen to the episode on your favorite platform so you get the details that will provide you with the most benefit. During our conversation, we explain how each of the 5 tips is helpful and how you can implement them to solve their respective problem. Here, we give you the highlights:

  1. Make sure your meeting has a leader and that they understand their responsibilities.
  2. Have an agenda and circulate it prior to the meeting.
  3. Ensure that only the right people attend the meeting.
  4. Keep the meeting as short as possible.
  5. Take care that everyone knows what their responsibilities are when the meeting ends.

How to have a successful meeting: 5 tips for meeting participants

A well-run meeting isn’t the sole responsibility of the meeting’s leader. Participants also have their part to play. If you’re a participant, then make certain that you:

  1. Prepare well in advance and avoid distractions during the meeting.
  2. Contribute to the conversation with questions, observations, and information.
  3. Assess whether your attendance is necessary and inform your manager if it’s not.
  4. Show up a few minutes before the scheduled meeting time.
  5. Commit to completing your assigned tasks.

Please enjoy this episode, and we’d appreciate it if you would give us a 5-star rating and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. (Not sure how to leave a review? Click here.)

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