We’ve all been there.. You know those meetings that you wish you could have a “do over”! Do you remember the last time you had a bad meeting experience? For many of you it was probably less than an hour before reading this post. For whatever reason many of us experience a bad meeting too often within our organizations. So what makes a meeting experience bad? I think it’s important to look at this from two viewpoints.
1. Did the intended outcome occur? Did you get that new IT project approved? If not why?
2. Was the overall experience of the meeting bad? Was everyone uncomfortable (yes this weighs into the decisions people may make in meetings)? Did a conflict in personalities make it impossible to get to the point of the meeting? Were needed tools unavailable to deliver content, collaborate, and properly communicate both in the room or for those that might be remote. Did people fail to show up for your meeting?
Ultimately most people really just care about the first point but it’s important to understand you may never reach your intended outcome if you fail at one or many of the issues listed in the second point. How can you expect people to come together to discuss, debate, illustrate, present, and make decisions if we fail to deliver a quality experience for the overall meeting? We’ve all been there right? That meeting where only half of the required participants show up, the speakerphone is unplugged by the cleaning crew the night before, the projector won’t turn on, and you forgot your PowerPoint slides. By the time you fix all the issues either everyone has tuned out or just given up leaving you in that frustrating position of rescheduling so you can do it all over again. I personally believe this is one of the root causes so many organizations fail to make strategic decisions quickly (or at all). There are so many aspects and variables that can make a meeting experience bad and the bad meeting experience has become so prevalent that there are even videos on YouTube demonstrating this. I think one of the best illustrations is the Tripp and Tyler video “Every Meeting Ever”. I’ve included it below:
So what do you think makes for a bad meeting? Do you have horror stories of meetings gone south? I would love to hear them. Feel free to share them in the comments below and stay tuned for Part 2 where we explore what makes a meeting great!