Meeting to death


It seems like more and more people spend all day long in back-to-back meetings, then work late and on the weekends to, well, work.  I recently came across this article, which offers a few ideas for how to get meetings in hand.

Meetings can go awry for numerous reasons – not having the right people or having too many people, or not having a clear purpose or process.  Each participant has some responsibility for making meetings effective, but whoever is in charge of the meeting needs to set the tone and boundaries.  Be willing to cancel the meeting if the participant mix isn’t right or crucial information won’t be available – or if across time the meeting just isn’t necessary any longer.  Be confident enough to redirect or call out participant behavior that is derailing progress.  Who hasn’t had to sit next to That Guy who uses the meeting to toot his own horn in front of executive management or wax on about a personal ax to grind?  These characters can ruin meeting productivity as effectively as not having an agenda at all.  And the less effective and efficient each meeting is, the more often you have to meet to compensate.  Sound familiar?

What are some of your “ground rules” for running effective meetings?  Please share your wisdom or “war stories” from trenches!