Manage This … Another Useless Meeting

How much time do you spend in meetings? How much of it is necessary?

Industry Week reports that the estimated cost of wasted time in unproductive meetings exceeds $37 billion annually. Estimate a meeting’s cost by taking the average hourly rate of the participants (a conservative estimate for managers is $30/hour), and multiplying it by the number of people at the meeting and by the length of the meeting. You will soon realize how costly each ineffective meeting is.

To reduce the number of unproductive meetings in your organization, follow these tips:

Ask “Is a meeting necessary. If you can’t clearly articulate an objective for the meeting with a planned outcome, don’t have a meeting.
Use an action item template to ensure that there are results from the meetings and it is clear who is responsible for what and by when. (Contact me at for a sample template). Many meetings are redundant because nothing was done from the prior meeting.
Distribute an agenda ahead of time.
Have different roles at each meeting: a facilitator to run the meeting, a timekeeper to keep it on track and a scribe to take notes.
Start on time and end on time—if people want to socialize, they can do it before or after the meeting.
Do not assume a meeting needs to be one hour—some meetings only require 15-20 minutes.
Finally, make sure all participants give feedback at each meeting, answering the following questions: What went well? What could be improved? Were all the right people here? (Including were there too many people here?) Was it run efficiently? Did we need this meeting?
Start making these guidelines part of your company culture and save time and money by reducing unnecessary meetings.

To get one-on-one coaching or training and learn more specific ways to have productive meetings, contact Kerrie Halmi at Halmi Performance Consulting: or 510-336-0654 .

Manage this … e-mail overload and constant interruptions. The July edition will talk how to deal with these “time hogs”. More details right here on the second Monday in July.

Please pass this to others who would benefit from it.

If you want specific references for any of the material, please let me know.

About the Author: Kerrie Halmi is a coach and facilitator specializing in people management skills. Her passion is increasing women’s success in business. See

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June 2006: