How to Use “Meetings That Work” to Avoid This Meeting Disaster

Learn how KAW Consulting’s “Meetings That Work” can help John and his colleagues avoid a common meeting disaster-too many completely unproductive meetings that waste everyone’s time.


Sitting in the conference room, feeling extremely frustrated, John tried not to visually roll his eyes in front of his co-workers.  What kept going through his mind was, “I have so much work I need to get done, and here I am in yet another wasted meeting.  In fact, I’m not really sure why we’re even having a meeting or what we’re supposed to accomplish.  All we got was a meeting notice with just some vague indication that we need to discuss the assignment that we’re all supposed to work on.  There’s no agenda or purpose statement.  In fact from the way people are talking, I’m not sure that anyone really knows what we’re supposed to accomplish in the next hour or so.  I sure don’t.  And this is the fourth meeting I’ve had like this, this week! How in the world am I supposed to get my work done if all I do is sit in useless meetings?”

John is not alone in his frustration.  People spend a lot of time at work in meetings. And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time.  Time that is vitally needed to be spent on getting the job done.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  With recognition amongst themselves that the meetings that he (John) and his colleagues are attending aren’t very productive, and some analysis and skill building on how to design and run effective meetings, the results could be vastly different.


To start, they could take a look at why their meetings are so unproductive.  Often, it’s due to one or more of these common causes:

  • Meeting leader is unprepared and tries to “wing it”
  • There’s no formal agenda
  • Everyone disagrees on the meeting’s subject
  • The expected desired results are not defined
  • People critical to meeting’s success:
    • Don’t Show Up
    • Weren’t Invited
    • Come late or leave early
  • Participants don’t understand their roles
  • Unfocussed discussion
  • Results are not accurately recorded.
  • Other reasons they’ve experienced.

Then they could take a look at what makes meetings work well. These include factors such as:

  • Meeting is well designed:
    • Has a purpose statement with agreed upon meeting subject and desired results
    • Has an agenda that clearly specifies topics for discussion, timing, participant expectations, etc.
    • Provides participants with needed background information.
    • Determines needed pre-work by participants.
    • Uses effective group discussion processes such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision making, etc
    • Determines needed meeting logistics
  • Meeting starts and ends on time
  • Meeting Leader is prepared
  • The critical people are in attendance
  • Participants understand their roles and participate appropriately
  • The meeting’s discussion focuses on the topics at hand
  • Pertinent discussion and results are captured and used going forward as needed.

Next Steps

Once they’ve had the chance to analyze why they’re meetings aren’t working and deciding that they need to learn how to hold more effective ones (and stop wasting everyone’s time!) they can start learning the basic skills needed to design and hold effective meetings.  This is where KAW Consulting’s  electronic handbook, “Meetings That Work” can really help.  Written in a clear, easy to use format it covers:

  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • The 8 Steps for designing Effective Meetings
  • Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with potential problems you may encounter such as:
    • Stares and Silence
    • Negative Remarks
    • Separate Agendas
    • One person trying to dominate the discussion
  • How to use effective group discussion processes to:
    • Generate Ideas by Brainstorming
    • Solve Problems
    • Make Better Decisions
    • Plan Tasks
    • Set Goals

It’s designed to be used both by individuals and also groups, so John and his colleagues can all learn the skills they need to stop holding those ineffective meetings and actually get something done.

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, “Meetings That Work is now available in both Kindle and PDF versions.  U.S. purchasers can purchase both.  International users eligible to purchase from Amazon can purchase the Kindle Version.  Both versions allow you to have it accessible each time you need to design a meeting.

For information on the Kindle version either click the applicable link below, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Meetings That Work” in the search criteria.

Amazon U.S. click here. click here. click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here click here

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “Meetings That Work” on your computer.  It includes hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.  You can purchase single copies or share with additional users by purchasing additional licenses.  This makes it easy for organizations to increase the productivity of their staffs.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $21.95.  Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $19.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

Author: KAW Consulting

KAW Consulting provides Training and Development, Organizational Development, Teambuilding, Strategic Planning and Human Resource Consulting. Since 1994, our Core Competence has been helping organizations meet their business and strategic goals by identifying and developing the needed human resource capability to achieve these goals. KAW also provides the Manager's Toolkit, a series of Team and Personal productivity tools aimed at helping Managers, Supervisors and Team Members succeed in some of their most challenging tasks such as: Designing and Running Better Meetings, Holding effective Team Discussions, Delegating Work Successfully, Managing Projects, Time Management, Coaching Employees, and Leading Effectively.

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