Women In Business

The 5 meeting villains and how to deal with them

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Meetings at their best are productive and inspiring collaborations that drive projects and the business forward. At their worst, they’re a nightmare. Wasted time, grandstanding, agenda hijacking, meeting addiction and lack of direction can all wreck a potentially valuable tool and time.

Generally those undermining factors are down to individual behavior from the meeting villains in your business. Use this infographic to help identify them and how to deal with them. And don’t ever be them. We’ve encapsulated the text below for accessibility.

The Meeting Hog

The Hog is always talking. Whether they actually have a point, or if it’s an appropriate time means nothing to them. If they have something to say, they’re delighted to spout off. And once they get going, it’s hard to plug that flow of grandstanding, often irrelevant, words and anecdotes. Everyone sits there fidgeting and looking at their watches, while thinking sticking their head in the office microwave would be less painful.

Solution: Set specific topics with a time schedule in advance so that everyone (including the Hog) knows exactly what needs to get done in the allotted time.

The Meet-Head

Want to have a meeting?! This guy schedules meetings just to talk about the next meeting. Or the last meeting, next year’s meeting schedule, meeting protocols … anything, in fact, to have another meeting that is probably allowing them to indulge in some handy work avoidance.

Solution: Remind him meeting are for discussion, not status updates. Encourage the group to use email, a phone hook-up or IM instead.

Mr Late Arriver

Every time a meeting is ready to begin, you’re always waiting on that one person. When they finally show up, the flow and energy of the meeting are completely lost.

Solution: Begin starting meetings on time. Every time. Once they start missing valuable information and tasks, they won’t want to fall behind again. Hint – snacks are always an incentive to show up early! This can be hard if Mr Late Arriver is Mr Boss, but still has to be dealt with. If he is the boss, move to one of the agenda items that don’t require him, and do it first.

Meeting Hijacker

You have set up a meeting to discuss some new plans you have. This person shows up and starts talking about something completely different and takes up all of your valuable time. Usually they haven’t been organized enough to arrange their own meeting on the topic, which they’ve just decided is soooo much more important than your topic or project.

Solution: Challenge the hijacker on how the topic relates to the current meeting. Politely mention that if there is some time left over, you’re more than happy to discuss their agenda after you get through the official meeting agenda.

Ms Agenda-Less

Ever have a meeting where you weren’t entirely sure what it was even about? Everyone sits quietly, not sure where the discussion is going to go next. This meeting is guaranteed to run long, and nothing actually gets achieved. Some people might take the chance to become Meeting Hog or Meeting Hijacker, which presents further challenges.

Solution: Assign tasks and topics in advance, so everyone has time to prepare answers and tackle the necessary steps before they even set foot inside the meeting room.

The 5 meeting villains

About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit www.amandaroseofficial.com.

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