Unproductive Meetings: Whose fault is it?

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Leadership and Marketing Update from H. LEINER & CO.

It’s very easy to blame someone else after an unproductive meeting and feel like someone else wasted your time.

But every person at the meeting is responsible for making your meetings as productive as possible.


Focus on these 3 components:

  1. Productivity: Set the agenda and make sure the meeting stays focused on that specific goal and purpose. Without that, people will lose interest and respect.
  2. Engagement: Make sure everyone has a chance to speak and share their ideas. There are many people who sit quietly but really have opinions, so make sure to engage them in the conversation, regardless of what their opinion is.
  3. Learning: In order to run a successful meeting, you have to keep learning new skills and techniques to run effective meetings and organize people working together.


Ask the meeting organizer these 4 questions:

  1. What are you looking for as an outcome? Make sure you know the goal of the meeting and what the meeting organizer wants the end result to be.
  2. What are you looking for from us – the attendees – during the meeting? Should you voice your opinion? Should you bring up a different perspective? Should you be taking notes?
  3. Can we review the commitments we’ve made before we wrap up? Before the meeting ends, make sure you know your responsibilities for putting the ideas from the meeting into action.
  4. Can we take a few minutes to reflect on this topic before moving on? It’s important to hear the thoughts and perspectives of the other people in the meeting to hear additional ideas and make sure you are all on the same page.

Regardless of your position in the meeting, the effectiveness of the meeting and what you take out of it largely depends on you!

(Center for Creative Leadership)



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