Avoid Useless Meeting Traps

Question: What Does a Committee Do?
Answer: A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.

Groan.

Does this joke seem familiar to you? If you participate in committees or collaborative work groups it just might. A big part of our jobs at Kennedy Events is reporting to or managing committees — whether for a tech user conference or a nonprofit gala — and it takes some real skills to pull the group up out of the useless meeting trap.

Our best meetings, managed well, will:

  • result in decisions
  • have clear next steps
  • give positive feedback for work done to date
  • include clear reports on progress, and
  • are energetic and short.

We have lots of little tips and tricks for avoiding wasted time and managing meetings more effectively, but our newest approach to meeting success comes from this post from the amazing folks at Asana:

“If you’ve extracted all the perspective but it’s not clear what the right decision is, don’t debate or ruminate. Assign someone to think about it and trust them to make the decision — even if it’s not how you would have made it.”

We love this philosophy so much that we plan to implement it here at Kennedy Events.

What are your favorite tactics for keeping meetings from becoming hellish? Tweet us (@paigembuck and @maggiebraff).

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