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Why am I sat in this meeting?

We’ve all been in them. Meetings that never seem to end. Ones that have absolutely no relevance to anything you’re working on.

You know the ones? I’ve been “lucky” enough to sit through many. I’m sure you have too.

Two hours of my life gone.

Two hours of 15 other people’s lives gone. Forever. Never going to get it back.

You may ask why. To discuss the options around a problem that hasn’t occurred, to do with a technology that doesn’t exist, in a product that hasn’t been started. Errrmm…

I suppose that isn’t strictly fair of me. My goal for the meeting was to get an idea of the product strategy, not observe or critique the meeting. The fact that we wasted over an hour still bugs me, though. A lot. It was the end of a very long day.

For the other 15, however, this was one of the better examples of their meetings – they’d had much worse. Though strangely, they were all off like a shot at the end. Couldn’t wait to leave. No discussions about ideas that had emerged or follow-up actions.

No one felt it was a good meeting.

Show me the agenda

Having an agenda is important for any meeting, but for people to find it useful they need to see it. Putting it up on a projector is okay, but what are you going to do if you want to show people the mock-up?

Put the agenda on a wall. Not a flip chart; you may want to use that. The wall. I’m also willing to accept a window or door.

However, you’re not normally going to get me in the meeting room with an agenda.

Why should I be sat in this meeting?

Answer that simple question.

What is the purpose of the meeting? What do you hope to achieve with my time? How am I going to help you meet this goal?

Oh, and tell me in the meeting request. I would like a recap at the start of the meeting, but I won’t be there to hear it if you haven’t told me beforehand.

What’s next? Read our article on Meetings with Feet

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