PLEASE! End your meetings on time.

August 21st, 2013

Does it seem that the meetings you attend never end on time?

Today’s post is by Dennis Nicoletti; Manager at SafeSourcing. 

I realize that there are times when emergencies arise; decisions need to be made, urgent action need to be taken, etc., so a group facilitator must keep a meeting running after the scheduled ending time.  But I have been in a number of situations over the years with meetings, conferences, and dozens of other situations where the meeting stretches on well-past the appointed ending time with no evident value or constructive result verses if it had ended on time.

Keeping people later than scheduled is to me, rude and displays poor time management skills because it means we are often late to our next piece of business, late for after work activities (I recall many late arrivals to family/kids events, missed flights, etc.) and it infringes on our individual productivity. Below are some reasons that this seems to happen, none of which are very flattering to meeting facilitators.

The meeting facilitator is uninformed or without an agenda.  This is when the facilitator doesn’t realize that it is well past ending time or doesn’t know when the meeting actually ends. Those of us who lead routine meetings have an obligation to provide an agenda (sticking to it) and to end the meeting when they are supposed to end.  How about 5 minutes early? If you’re one of these types…appoint someone a “time keeper”.  An agenda quickens the meeting flow and attendees are prepared.

The meeting facilitator lacks the courage to stop overbearing personalities. A facilitator with good intentions realizes that it is past the appointed ending time, but can’t quite bring him or her to stop one or more from going on and on. This happens far more often than one would think.

The meeting facilitator has a sense of self-importance.  Unfortunately, this does happen.  Although the meeting or conference is about a routine or trivial matter, the facilitator believes that he or she is such an important person that nothing else in the other participants’ lives — their next meeting, their individual work, their families — could possibly be as important.

If you are a meeting facilitator, I would ask you to start thinking about if you have a habit of keeping people late and why?   If you really want to please people at a meeting, have max attendance, finish early and move for adjournment.

We, at SafeSourcing, are very respectful of our client’s valuable time ensuring our meetings are productive and end “as scheduled” or early whenever possible.   For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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