4 Distractions that Derail Meetings — and How to Handle Them

Meetings are critical for achieving goals, as they foster unity and facilitate communication, planning, and alignment — but only if they’re run effectively. Poorly run meetings negatively affect a team’s performance, cohesion, and ultimately its success in meeting its goals.

In a survey of senior managers, 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. And a study of 20 organizations revealed that dysfunctional behaviors in meetings — like complaining or criticizing others — are associated with lower market share, less innovation, and lower employee engagement.

See if the following scenario sounds familiar: You receive a meeting invitation whose title is simply “Product Launch,” with no further details. You attend the meeting because your team handles a launch component and you want to ensure you’re not missing anything. Lisa, the team lead, introduces the new product line. However, within minutes, the conversation takes a turn when John, a…

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This article was written by Luis Velasquez and originally published on hbr.org