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Productive Meetings

Know when it’s not a good time to meet

Have you had a sense of frustration at the end of a meeting? After two hours, there were no results. Nothing was resolved or decided. What a waste of your time! Why did someone even bother to call a meeting?

To prevent people feeling the same way as they leave one of your meetings, it is important to understand how to avoid meetings that are almost certainly destined to fail. There are several conditions that nearly always guarantee that the meeting will be unproductive. Before scheduling your next meeting, check whether these conditions exist. If they do, don’t meet!

Here are several conditions that are often associated with unproductive meetings:

  • Key participants are not available.
  • There is not enough time for participants to prepare for the meeting.
  • There is not enough time for a full discussion of the topic.
  • Information needed to make decisions is not available.
  • The subject matter is confidential. Information cannot be shared with others.
  • The decision has already been made.
  • The subject is trivial.
  • There is too much emotion attached to the subject. People need time to calm down before they begin to work together towards the meeting’s objectives.
  • The subject matter can be addressed more appropriately through other means.

Knowing what conditions will lead to unproductive meetings will help you – and others – avoid meetings that are a complete waste of time.


During his More Productive Meetings in Less Time presentations, Nelson Scott provides participants with tools to plan, conduct and follow up meetings more effectively.


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© Nelson Scott.  All rights reserved.

A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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