25 ways to ruin a meeting

Woe unto those who attempt to skip breaks, go off on tangents or ‘power through lunch’ with no food. Heed these warnings to avert disaster at your next brainstorming or strategy session.

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25 ways to ruin a meeting

We’ve all endured mind-numbing meetings that accomplish nothing.

You might even be sitting in one now. (Editor’s note: At least you’ve found some fascinating reading.)

Hopefully, your workplace prioritizes efficient strategy sessions, brainstorms and check-ins, but just in case you need a reminder, here are 25 ways to ruin a meeting—along with countermeasures to ensure productive participation:

1. Forget to set an agenda.

Meetings shouldn’t be like a freewheeling jam session. Sending out a firm agenda before the meeting starts gives everyone a chance to come prepared, and establishing what topics you’re covering should keep your team from veering off track.

2. Don’t bother taking notes.

Unless all your attendees have mystical memorization powers, designate a note taker before each meeting starts. The note taker should send a summary of the meeting—including takeaways or action points—to participants soon after it ends.

3. Start late.

Being disrespectful of your colleagues’ time is an easy way to sink a meeting. Start on time; end on time—period.

4. Make each topic untimed.

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