Meetings are like Funerals

“We are going to continue having these meetings everyday, until I find out why no work
is being done!”
Ah! Those endless meetings where people drone on and nothing is accomplished. No
wonder you prefer to attend a funeral. At least there is a conclusion, something nice is
said, there is a certain procedure and structure and there is food at the end!
Meetings are useful to share knowledge, establish common goals, gain commitment and
support and provide a group identity. They are useless when providing an audience for
someone important, when used to pass the buck or procrastinate on making decisions,
to socialize or because they have become a habit.

To make the most effective use of meetings follow some simple ground rules:

• Decide if a meeting is really necessary and if you need to attend
• Keep certain types of meetings separate; e.g. analytical, financial, creative,
informational, discussion
• Do your homework, whether you are the participant, presenter or the chair Upgrade
your communication skills to be more effective
• Plan the proper times for meetings (Friday afternoon is not an option!). Establish
goals, objectives and create a timed agenda
• Determine a set of ground rules and post them up for all to follow
• Make sure arrangements for booking, handouts and equipment are made and
checked ahead of time
• Encourage participation
• Keep on track, keep minutes and follow up on action plans

And for goodness sake, have food, fun and laughter, otherwise your participants may want
to attend a funeral instead!

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