After I last published my Top-5 reasons, I received some interesting comments and feedback. I also made a few observations which I had overlooked earlier on.
Bingo! Here we have, an additional five more reasons why meetings fail.
6. Hijacking the agenda
Many a times, you would notice that someone will bring up some ‘burning issue’ or a ‘non issue’ into a meeting and hijack the entire agenda. The organizer of the meeting gives in especially if the person who hijacks is a senior colleague in the company. Hijacking a meeting’s agenda serves the ego big time, but does not serve the company in any way.
7. Too long, too much fatigue
Do you recall that our school periods were of 45min -50min duration and not more? There is a scientific reason behind this. Human attention span is not more than 50 minutes. We need a break of 10 min to 15 min after every 50 minutes. It is ideal that after the break, you switch to another topic than continue on the same topic. However, what we notice is that the average duration of meetings is 90 minutes to 2 hours. This puts tremendous strain on the mental faculties to stay awake, not to mention the strain on your bladder!
8. No agenda, no meeting manager
If hijacking the agenda is a crime, having no agenda for a meeting is worse. Sometimes, people don’t know what is the agenda of the meeting. There is no time-keeper, no one who takes the action points, no one who controls the flow of the meeting.
9. Communication equipment breakdown
Although this is called as ‘technical failure’, I believe it is one of the most important reasons why meetings fail. The Skype call does not work because Skype has failed (WiFi problem/ Skype problem/ Laptop problem…..). There is a latency in the voice call and we are not able to understand well. The video conference starts transmitting garbled images /audio does not come through…. and we end up spending time, asking questions like ‘Are you there?, “Can you hear me?”, “Great, now I can hear you, please repeat what you said?”, “Thank God! You are back on the bridge. I can see you now. Where were we?” etc. These add no value to the main discussion topic.
10. People don’t take part on time
I cannot for an instant understand why people who agree for a meeting don’t take part on time or worse still, sometimes don’t show up. I tend to believe that this is a classic case of lack of respect for others, lack of concern for getting the job done and clearly a case or unprofessional attitude. Unfortunately this is true and many people either come late, beyond the ‘acceptable’ grace time of 5 minutes from the start.
I am sure there are several other reasons.
As usual, I encourage your comments & feedback