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Why Have Meetings If They Are the Source of So Many Complaints?

As Winston Churchill once said about democracy, it’s the worst possible system, except for all the others. Consider these alternatives to having a meeting:

  • Phone – a good way to exchange information, except many folks do not answer their phones when you want them to. Sometimes, conference calls work well, although some would just call them meetings by another name, but they introduce their own unique set of problems.
  • E-mail – another way to exchange information, except it can be hard to get people’s attention. Some will not read beyond the first paragraph or so and it is difficult to get the correct read on the person’s tone. Most of all, it is difficult to secure any committed action from an e-mail request.
  • Print and distribute – another tried and true way to communicate, except for the amount of extra work to write up all the issues and the lack of collaboration that goes into the product. This method does have the virtue that reading flyers or other printed summaries can stimulate people to think, if they read them.

Tip from 10 Minutes a Week to Great Meetings 2nd Edition by Joel Levitt

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