Posts Tagged ‘meetings’


Boring Meetings Suck by Jon Petz is intended for leaders who want to end, or at least minimize, useless time consuming meetings. To be great, a meeting must deliver real value by providing useful information, fostering creativity, supplying motivation, and building unity among participants. Petz offers techniques that seem radical but can make meetings more efficient and effective, including tips on how to recognize what meetings to skip, how to address poor meeting facilitation or bad etiquette, and descriptions of alternative style meeting formats to speed things up. Specific pointers on eye contact, stage presence, and speech patterns show how to make presentations more engaging. Petz also offers innovative ideas for enhancing meetings with technology, along with clever ways to politely wrap up meetings or gracefully get out of them.

Petz offers readers the following advice:

  • An established agenda with clearly defined goals and desired outcomes is essential for any meeting.
  • Every meeting attendee has the right and responsibility to make the meeting productive, and when attendees are empowered to diplomatically keep the meeting on track, especially when a facilitator fails to do so, everyone benefits.
  • Technology can greatly enhance meeting communication, build deeper engagement, and increase input, but it must not overshadow the intended meeting objectives.
  • To avoid boring meetings, people must only call meetings when it is absolutely necessary, then use creative ways to move the meeting along quickly — such as holding the meeting in a room without chairs or walking up and down the hallway stairwells.
  • The key to effective meetings is for both the facilitator and the attendees to prepare at least 24 hours in advance to be knowledgeable about the issues and objectives.
  • Limit invitees to those who are true stakeholders directly affected by the meeting’s objectives and desired outcomes.

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Related book summaries in the BBS library: 10 Steps to Successful Meetings, No More Pointless Meetings, Standing in the Fire

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Standing in the Fire, Larry Dressler compares leading a combustible meeting with fighting a brush fire. When not tended to properly, a fire can cause suffering, proliferation, and destruction. However, the fire can also lead to illumination, cleansing, regeneration, and transformation.

High-heat meetings make everyone in the room uncomfortable, but this ‘fire’ is the catalyst that can inspire the creativity needed to solve the issues that brought participants together in the first place. Effective conveners handle the tension with a “way of being” which is engaged, open, authentic, relaxed, and grounded in purpose. Standing in the Fire offers a set of internal, self-directed principles and practices enabling the facilitator to remain calm and grounded while others feel hopeless, agitated, angry, and confused.

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Related book summaries in the BBS library: Putting Our Differences to Work, Crucial Conversations, 10 Steps to Successful Meetings

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