Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Tame the meeting beast with these 8 tips
First Published Feb 23 2012 08:31 pm • Last Updated May 24 2012 11:38 pm

If it takes all your fingers and toes to count the number of times you’ve been in meetings that you deemed stupid, unproductive, boring or frustrating, you’re not alone.

Workers judge nearly 50 percent of their meetings to be a waste of time. And nearly everyone has horror stories of meetings that run on for hours and the blowhards who monopolize them. That’s why Jon Petz contends the meetings aren’t the problem; it’s the people who run them.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

If blowhards are shut down, if agendas and time limits are strictly enforced and if people are free to skip gatherings on topics that don’t involve them, then meetings wouldn’t get such a bad rap, says Petz, a motivational speaker and author of Boring Meetings Suck (Wiley, $22.95).

"Often it’s the meeting facilitator who is responsible for things going wrong, such as inviting too many people," Petz say. Another big problem: a lack of agenda.

Years ago Petz says he started declining invitations to meetings with no agenda. The practice became known around the office as the "Jon Petz rule."

"Everyone has a responsibility to make a meeting productive," Petz says. With that in mind, Petz offers some tips for making death by meeting a thing of the past. Among his suggestions:

Stand up • Many companies have found success by removing chairs from a conference room and supplying only a white board. This eliminates a tendency to ramble about unnecessary issues. Aching feet prompt attendees to get down to business quickly, Petz says.

Pass the pad • The last one to enter the room has to take notes for the meeting. This prevents many people from being late because they don’t want to be stuck with the job.


story continues below
story continues below

Get moving • Sitting in a stuffy room trying to come up with innovative ideas can be draining, so move the meetings to a stairwell or walk outside. If you use the stairs, each participant has one flight to make a pitch or give a status report.

Try a speed meeting • Each participant is given 2 minutes to share information, such as sales figures or project updates. Follow-up questions are given 1 minute.

Build in social time • Make it part of the agenda.

"I’m a big fan of socialization, but that needs to be put in the meeting format," Petz says. "Put in the agenda that the meeting starts at 10 a.m., and there will be 10 minutes for bagels and coffee. "

Once meeting times are strictly followed, the message will become clear and he says attendees won’t be late.

Vary the time limit • If you deem a meeting will last an hour, it will last an hour if you have four items or 12 items to discuss, Petz says. Be willing to designate a certain amount of time per item then move on. Consider a 10-minute meeting a victory.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.