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5 Ways To Stop Creating Meetings From Hell

Meetings can too often seem like eternal punishment. Many meetings we are called to (or perhaps we are calling them ourselves) seem meaningless, unfocused and waste our time and energy. Therefore, as a leader, how can you avoid creating "meetings from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks"?

Here are 5 tips that can help.

Have clear agenda and stop/start time - start the meeting when you say you are going to start and end on time. Don't wait to start a meeting until everyone has arrived, and don't let meetings go well beyond their intended time. Doing so doesn't respect people's time and it creates bad precedent and expectations for the future.

Don't have meeting with out clear purpose.... don't just have them - you shouldn't create or go into a meeting without knowing exactly what you are intending to accomplish. You should have a meeting to accomplish something that's a part of your vision, mission and objectives. Avoid having meetings just to "inform"- like simply just reviewing the calendar.

Try having short huddles instead of meetings - instead of blocking out time in the schedule and calling an official meeting for everyone to attend, gather together around a focused objective/task/issue. You can have that huddle meeting in the hall. Have the meeting while standing and you'll be assured that the meeting won't last very long.

Don't leave a meeting without clearly assigned and measurable action items - before you leave the meeting, you should have clearly defined Action Items. And with every item that is created you should know and record - what exactly (quantitatively) are you needing to do, who is responsible for it and what is the time frame when it needs to be accomplished. In addition the progress of those action items needs to be reviewed regularly.

Avoid bringing laptops/smartphones to the meeting - people disconnect and disengage from meetings with these devices...if your meetings are focused and to the point there will be no need for people to run to these devices because they are bored.


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