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Determining When a Meeting Is Necessary

Since there are more than 11 million meetings held every day in the United States alone, there is a good chance you’ll attend a meeting today, no matter where you live around the world. Careful decision-making can help you ensure all those meetings you and others in your company attend are worth your while.

Meetings are expensive and time-consuming. Before deciding whether to hold one, ask yourself if a particular issue could be better communicated by telephone, a memo, or a one-to-one discussion. Having meetings only when necessary results in lower overhead, increased productivity, and improved company morale.

When a meeting is generally not a good idea

Would you be surprised to hear that many meetings shouldn’t be held at all? Holding unnecessary meetings is a significant problem that needs to be addressed. Here are some examples of when a meeting is generally not a good idea:

  • When you’re organizing information — Organization of information is best handled by one person outside the meeting. If it is handled during a meeting, the attendees’ time could be wasted.
  • When you’re doing detailed analysis and research — Analyzing and researching should be done before a meeting. Once these activities are finished, it may then be necessary to report back and discuss the findings in a meeting.
  • When you’re dealing with personnel issues — Dealing with personnel issues, such as firing someone or negotiating a salary, are sensitive and should be done on a one-to-one basis, not in a group situation.

Meetings are essential for businesses to function properly. They are often the best way to communicate information to others in a group. This is especially true when what you say depends on what another person says. Meetings also are important because new alternatives and solutions emerge more easily when people leave their desks and gather together.