The top meeting pet peeves that plague organizations
The facilitator’s job is to control the flow of the meeting, to help attendees work together, to provide structure to the meeting, and to get everyone involved. When attendees are allowed to have their cell phones ringing during the meeting, when one or two people are permitted to dominate the conversation, or when it’s acceptable for key people to not contribute to the discussion, good facilitation is lacking. Therefore, make sure all your meetings have an effective facilitator at the helm.
Pet Peeve #3: People Arriving Late to the Meeting
How many meetings have you arrived to on time, only to have the meeting start late as everyone waits for others to show up? Even worse, if the meeting does start on time, it restarts 10 minutes later when a few people straggle in. Rather than continue with the meeting, the facilitator attempts to bring the late comers up to speed by rehashing everything that was just covered.
But why penalize the people who arrived on time? A better approach is to close the door when the meeting starts and put a note on the door that says, “Meeting in Progress.” Those who arrive late will know to sneak in as inconspicuously as possible…and, hopefully, they won’t make the same mistake next time. Additionally, unless the late person is the boss, don’t restart the meeting later. When meeting start times are enforced and honored, people will make the effort to be on time.
Pet Peeve #4: Using PowerPoint When It’s Not Needed
PowerPoint is an essential business tool, but it’s not effective for all meeting types. Unfortunately, many people believe that ALL meetings require the use of PowerPoint. Not true! Typical information sharing meetings require a facilitator asking questions and everyone contributing in round-robin style. Watching someone read PowerPoint slides is not how these meetings should run. After all, if people simply needed to read pages of text, you could just send them the file and skip the meeting completely.
Of course, if your informational meeting needs more of people’s senses involved, then use PowerPoint to add that visual component. Likewise, if you’re combining everyone’s data and showing it in chart or graph form, PowerPoint is great. But don’t use PowerPoint just for the sake of it. Know why you’re using it, and then do it right.
Pet Peeve #5: Listening to Unprepared or Ineffective Speakers
Nothing is worse than listening to a monotone speaker who says “um” or “ah” every other word…or having someone start their portion of the meeting by saying, “I really didn’t prepare anything for this, so let’s just wing it.”