Leadership Tip

How to stop a meeting that just won't end

We’ve all been in meetings that seem like they go on and on and on. Instead of watching the clock, take matters into your own hands:

  1. Come prepared. You can avoid a chaotic, rambling conversation simply by showing up with a clearly articulated position on the topic to be discussed. Don’t push it on others, but offer to share it if people think doing so will speed up the discussion. If there is no chairperson nominated, volunteer yourself for the role. This way you can ensure the meeting remains on track and achieves the desired result.
     
  2. Set limits. If a meeting is notorious for starting late or running over, explain your time limitations up front. You might say, “I understand we’re starting late, but I have a commitment I have to keep, so must leave on time."
     
  3. Name what’s happening. Listen to your gut. If you’re feeling lost, pay attention. If you’re feeling bored, notice it. There’s a good chance others feel the same. You can tactfully and tentatively share your concern to see if others are feeling similarly. You might say, “I’m not sure I’m tracking the discussion. We seem to be moving among three different agenda items. Are others seeing that too?”

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our acclaimed 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from 7 Ways to Stop a Meeting from Dragging On by Joseph Grenny. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.

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