Ten Ways to Screw Up Your Next Meeting

When meetings go off the rails, the person at the head of the table is incompetent.

Ten ways to screw up your next meeting:

#1. Don’t state the purpose of the meeting.

#2. Don’t declare how the meeting aligns with organizational goals.

Long-term goals establish direction. Short-term goals enable execution.

#3. Don’t get input from key participants before the meeting.

Some team members believe they have the right to help steer the ship. If you ignore their voice, they will hijack your meeting.

You want people to feel included and powerful. Seek their input before the meeting.

#4. Don’t interrupt a participant when their comments are clearly off track.

Momma was wrong when she said don’t interrupt people. If someone is rude enough to hijack your meeting, you should be bold enough to interrupt.

#5. Allow the need for specificities to block big-picture conversations. This happens when participants want quick solutions, but you need everyone to get out of the weeds.

#6. Invite selfish kingdom-builders to your meeting.

Some people only care about THEIR projects. These people attend meetings to block ideas and projects that don’t serve THEIR interests. When the conversation veers away from THEIR kingdom, they doze.

#7. Allow talkative participants to blab on and on. (It’s polite to interrupt rude people.)

#8. Violate the two-pizza rule.

The number of attendees should not exceed the number of people who can have lunch on two medium pizzas. Small teams are better than large teams, even if it hurts your ego. Meetings with many attendees are information sessions where most attendees are passive.

#9. Allow drifters to attend. When someone consistently leaves meetings without something to do, they’re dead weight. Stop inviting them to meetings.

#10. End the meeting without action items.

How might leaders screw up their next meeting?

What’s the most important factor for running great meetings?

Bonus material:

How to Run a More Effective Meeting (NYT)

How to Run Effective Meetings (SLACKHQ)

11 Simple Tips For Having Great Meetings From Some Of The World’s Most Productive People (FastCompany)

8 Ground Rules for Great Meetings (HBR)