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Why I avoid meetings like the plague

May 8th, 2018 by Bob Bly

The other day, I got an e-newsletter with the lead article
titled, “How to Improve ROI from Your Business Meetings.”

And my immediate thought was: that’s easy — don’t HAVE business
meetings!

In my nearly 4 decades in business, I have yet to find a bigger
waste of time than face-to-face meetings … with the possible
exception of social media.

Back in the day, pre-email, pre-internet, and pre-skype, I did go
to some meetings with local clients here in NJ.

For out-of-state clients, we typically had the meeting over the
phone.

And guess what?

I consistently found that we could accomplish the same thing in a
20 to 30-minute phone call with the distant clients …

…as I did in a 2-hour face-to-face meeting with local clients.

And 2 hours was the actual meeting time. When you added in the
round-trip car ride — an hour each way — the meeting took 4
hours, or half a day of my time.

So now, no matter whether the client is down the block or in
Australia, our meeting is via phone, email, or Skype.

I just don’t meet with people in person, unless they are willing
to pay a hefty fee to do so. And often not even then.

My Facebook friend PO writes: “Business meetings are the death
knell of profitability, productivity, and employee morale —
senseless.”

Another FB friend, BM, cites a study about meetings from the
Organizational Development group at MIT.

This computer-simulation study concluded that the optimum number
of people to have in a business meeting for maximum productivity
is 1.3 — which can mean just me if I’ve gained some weight!

DG comments, “Business meetings should be concise and pertinent.
And if they fill up someone’s calendar, my suspicion increases as
to their necessity and value.”

JF opines: “The bigger the organization, the less productive the
meetings in my overall experience.”

JL says this about meetings: “If you take an hour’s salary
for each person in the room plus the cost of someone making an
agenda and a report and then compare that with what came out of
it, you’d have to ask yourself why you did that. Meetings: yuk,
gag, awful.”

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