There are hundreds of good reasons to have a meeting.  The budget needs to be finalized.  The building is being renovated and the architects want to show off the plans.  The company is looking to hire a new person.  Your boss wants to give you a raise (the best).

But there are other times when it’s not such a good idea to have a meeting.  In fact, it can be a complete waste of time if you proceed with such a meeting.  The number one rule before holding a meeting is to make sure you actually need to meet.  If any of the below circumstances are true, strongly consider backing out of your meeting until the forecast looks better.


There’s nothing to talk about.

You have had a meeting scheduled every Tuesday at 2 p.m. for as long as you can remember.  Well, maybe it’s time to consider not having that meeting.  If you’re simply meeting because you think you have to, consider whether it’s actually necessary.  It may be that you only need to meet once every 2 weeks or a once a month.  Everyone’s time could be used more wisely and they’ll appreciate not having to always work their schedule around that weekly meeting.


You’re only there to share data or information.

121113384While quoting figures and showing off charts and graphs will fill up a one-hour meeting time slot, most of the time this can be shared without have to hold a formal meeting.  E-mail works well; a knowledge management platform like Central Desktop or KnowledgeXChanger works even better.  Unless the data or information is going to be used right then and there for planning or decision-making, send it as an attachment and save your team an hour of their day.  There are rare exceptions to this – sometimes information needs to be delivered in-person to a group, and urgently – but again, it’s rare.


A key player can’t attend.

Some decisions can’t be made without one person’s approval; others can’t be made without information that only a particular person can deliver.  Think carefully about who must absolutely be at the meeting.  For example, if you vote on decisions and need a quorum, don’t plan to bring everyone together if half of your team can’t meet.  Or if you’re working out a budget make sure someone from the finance department can make it.  While it’s a pain to have to reschedule, it’s even worse to have everyone show up and then realize that you have to reschedule.


An e-mail or a brief phone call will get the job done.

154066058Quick meetings don’t exist.  Ever hear, “Let’s have a quick meeting about [X] topic?”  Odds are it will last at least 30 minutes.  So before attempting to hold a meeting, consider whether a brief 10-minute conversation via the phone, or a well-worded e-mail, will achieve what you want to do at the meeting.  Getting briefed or updated on a project, can usually be done just as efficiently without have to bend your schedule over backwards or interrupt your current work.


The purpose of the meeting is unclear.

Be absolutely sure what the meeting is about before calling your team together.  Every meeting should have some kind of actionable goal (unless it’s an informational meeting, in which case make it brief).  The purpose and goal of the meeting should be stated clearly on the agenda or otherwise communicated beforehand.  Eliminating any uncertainty before the meeting saves time during the meeting and gets everyone in the right mindset.  The last thing you want is someone coming to the meeting and thinking they’re going to be forming an organizational chart when instead they’ll be working on a position description.


You don’t have the information you need to hold the meeting.

pytanieA good meeting can’t happen without the right information.  Decisions need to be made with that information – if it’s not provided by the appropriate source (person or document), then poor decisions, or no decisions, will be made.  Give everyone that’s attending the meeting all the background reading they will need to be effective meeting participants.  When everyone is on the same page, discussion become productive and unhindered by confusion.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

Time to move your events online. Do it with ClickMeeting


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *