Four Ways To Manage Meetings (And Keep Them On Time)

People sleeping in meeting

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Yesterday, I discussed four reasons why people hate long meetings. It’s not that most employees are lazy. Rather, they want to do their jobs and the meetings can detract from their productivity.

If you are a manager, team leader, boss, or other administrator, we offer four tips to manage your meetings (and end them on time).

Only Meet When There’s a Need

During my five years of teaching, we had two weekly meeting slots. We didn’t always have a need for the meeting, but they were held anyway. A functional organization with effective communication and collaboration may not need regular meetings. If you schedule a meeting, it should be because the meeting is actually needed. If it’s just busy work, then skip it. People will likely be more productive filling doing their actual jobs.

Only Invite Those Who Are Necessary

Not everyone needs to be in every meeting. But, sometimes in the name of team unity (or team punishment), everyone attends. However, if a meeting topic is only relevant to certain people, then only bring them in. I wish I had a dollar for every time a problem was addressed in a meeting of twenty that applied to two people. Be a leader and address individuals and small groups about their shortcomings. Don’t waste everyone else’s time.

Solicit Employee Feedback

You may think you have a great idea to discuss or present in a meeting. Everyone else may think it’s totally irrelevant to their job performance. Maybe they’re wrong. Or, it’s possible you could be wrong. It’s always good to solicit employee feedback about meeting topics. Make sure the topics you’re addressing are a real need and that your purpose for the meeting will actually help make people’s jobs more productive or at least more meaningful.

Keep To the Schedule

I hate hearing people talk for the sake of talking. I don’t care who is trying to impress the boss or which person feels her ideas absolutely need to be heard. I personally love any facilitator who keeps us to the schedule and gets us out on time.

While there are occasions when a meeting needs to go over time, good planning means those occasions should be rare. An effective leader will keep everyone on task, lay down the ground rules, respectfully correct excessive talkers, and get everyone out on time.

So, do your employees a favor, manage those meetings effectively and end them on time. Your company will be more productive and you’ll be a more effective and popular boss!

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, dating expert, and business owner. His articles have been viewed millions of times, and he has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal.

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