Meeting “Killers”

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Meeting “Killers”

Going through some old desk drawers I found an article from the WSJ I had saved called ‘Meeting the Meeting Killers’ from May 16, 2012.  I’ve been in a plethora of meetings over my years in and out of the corporate world.  My thoughts on the ‘killers’ below:

Meeting Killer Level of Nuisance Modus Operandi
The Jokester 33% cracks jokes and awaits response from co-workers
The Rambler 66% takes discussions to far-away places so people forget why they’re there
The Dominator 100% disrupts discussion, greatly overestimates value of his/her personal views
The Naysayer 100% waits until consensus is almost reached and derails meeting with major objections
The Quiet Plotter 100% remains quiet at meetings but later undermines leaders and decisions


I’ve followed some of the advice in this article with success to overcome these potential meeting killers’ behavior.  Take a serial “Naysayer” out to lunch before a meeting, getting them to vent and try to reach agreement to minimize the objections–this is a good idea even if you aren’t going to have a meeting!  A person who complains is much more likely to bring attention to legitimate problems than a person who, out of apathy, sits in a meeting like a knot on a log.

I really liked the idea of handing a chocolate to a person who is rambling.

Some ground rules you can set that can be agreed upon starting a meeting:

  1. Before voicing complaint, be ready to offer a solution immediately
  2. Allocate space on a whiteboard for ‘moonshots’ and ‘rabbit holes’ for later discussion
  3. Don’t sit down! – standing meetings really keep the discussion moving
  4. Ask early for objections to keep them from derailing discussion later
  5. Interrupt people who talk too long or talk to each other
  6. Set an ending time for the meeting and stick to it
  7. Stop “Death by Powerpoint” – limit number of slides or even go with the 10-20-30 rule

Here’s the article – what do you think?


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