“Let’s have more meetings” … said no one ever!
What are your meeting pet peeves? Have a read through this list and ask yourself which ones annoy you more than others.
- Rambling opening comments and introductions
- Too much chit-chat before business
- No agenda
- Too much listed on the agenda
- The speaker reading their PowerPoint or handout out aloud – word for word
- Stalling to accommodate latecomers
- Cringe-worthy icebreakers
- Cross-conversations: people talking over each other
- Getting off topic
- Going too far down a rabbit hole and getting into too much detail too far ahead of the point
- People confused by their own technology
- The speaker not getting to the point
- People who feel the need to comment on e-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e thing
- People who reiterate what someone else just said
- Going over time
- Scheduling (as a habit) one hour for a 30 minute meeting
- Reviewing the last meeting for the people who weren’t there
What are your top three pet peeves? Are there any that aren’t on the list?
Now, venting can be cathartic but great leaders do something about this.
Here’s a challenge I dare you to take…
Share this list with your team, especially those who attend lots of meetings and ask them to point out what their top three pet peeves are and ask them how they would address each one to minimise or remove them or the negative affect of them.
Collect their feedback – you might be surprised with some of the ideas to move meetings from maddening to motivational.
You could do this via a survey or email rather than a meeting. Present the team with the information you gather and then ask them to vote on what one change they wish to make. As the change is implemented, be sure to agree on accountability and support as this may take a few meetings for habits to change.
Once this one change has been embedded, return to the list and vote on the next one change.
The team may want to implement more than one change at a once, if that’s what they want to do, be sure to help them make sure it’s do-able and sustainable.
Expect change to take time: there is some unsticking of habits, learning and applying new behaviours and approaches, then re-sticking the new way.
Meetings can be exceptional for innovation, creativity, team building, information sharing, problem solving … but they are often simply seen as a waste of time; as something that could have easily been an email.
Get clear on your specific meeting pet peeves so that you and your team can get specific and improving your meetings for greater productivity.