In 100 Words: How to Waste a Meeting


Lack of preparation is one of the surest ways to waste a good meeting. Do you remember Kramer’s classic entrances in the old TV sitcom Seinfeld – the off-balance slide with hair wildly flying? This is how many executives enter their meetings.

Meeting effectiveness is directly proportional to the preparation time participants expend. Each participant should run through this simple pre-meeting checklist:

  • consciously note the meeting objective
  • review key topics and input data
  • write down what debates and decisions are needed

Scheduling buffer time between meetings is the practical transition mechanism for accomplishing this preparation. Don’t waste another meeting; enter prepared.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” –Abraham Lincoln

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