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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Attending meeting is a wastage of time

    Again I had to attend a marathon meeting! Today I went to attend a meeting where the representatives of all Ministries/Departments came to present/clarify their cases on a particular issue. The cases of the Ministries were being discussed alphabetically (according to the Ministry/Department). Even after a long wait, my turn didn't come.

    In the process, I wasted more than three hours. It was a boring affair. However, I utilised the opportunity to have a cat-nap in the air-conditioned meeting room. Oh yes! The coffee which was served in the meeting was exceptionally good.

    However, after my return, I had to clear lots of files. Today's low score of mine (as reflected in the score-board of ISC) is partially the result of today's unproductive and boring meeting.
  • #608725
    From this post I can gather many information. That the meeting are supposed to be long when it concerned to government Ministries and departments. And there is no short cut to shorten the meeting to accommodate other agenda in between. That the boring meeting would bring in fatigue and one goes for a cat nap often. And at last the meeting has no result. There seems to be ill planning and the deliberations were inconclusive. Why the meetings cannot be converted into exchanging of letters between the departments so that matters get settled instead of wasting time on manpower ?
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #608730
    Mr. Mohan: The meeting was relating to pending pension cases of different Ministries. And the cases were being taken up in the alphabetical order of Ministries. Almost half of the Ministries were successfully covered. Their cases have been sorted out. For these Ministries, the meeting was very fruitful. But for the other half? Only a little bit of cat-nap and good coffee!
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #608731
    Excellent, being in the health care industry, I have the chance and obligations to attend many meetings. Although these are important in the framework of many aspects of any organisation, there are numerous occasions that one always feels; the snacks and refreshments were good but rest a total waste of time. Meetings are various levels, different group sizes are slotted in any job plan and sub-section of a large organisation. These are meant to improve efficiency, assess the growth, find a solution and for the overall betterment of the unit as a whole.

    We live in a world where time is precious and resources are scarce. For instance, in your case, if you calculate your productivity, travel time and money, the actual duration of the meeting and the final end result or outcome it would be a waste of precious resources. I think the more important aspect of holding a meeting is 'What is the cost of this meeting?' This would include the venue hired or rental that would be given for the office space, the number of people in the meeting, money spent on sound and recording if any and most important the average salary paid out to the members attending the meet ( this gives an idea how much the company is paying literally every hour these people spend in the meeting). Now multiply it by the number of such meetings per week or per year. These figures will be staggering.

    So, in my view, the organisation has to have strict guidelines for such meetings. It should not be held just because we need to record such a meeting, we need to remember that Rs X is spent on this meeting so what results from the meeting would justify the meeting itself in the first place. Once we understand this concept, I feel that people who chair these events will have a valid agenda and expect a set of valid results at the end.

    Further on, the actual events that happen at these meetings are a bit of socialising, chit chat, having a cup of tea or coffee, comparing notes, having sub discussions. Even if such a meeting really starts, then we review the summary of the previous meeting wherein still there will be 10 different views from 10 different members. Once this is put the rest, the meeting moves on to the actual agenda. So by the time the slot finished often only half of the planned agenda is achieved and it spills over.

    Not being cynical, there are times when I feel such meetings can be overridden by another more important task at that point in time. I delegate a junior member at such times, then compare notes with the chair and key members as to what did I miss, what can I contribute. In the healthcare sector, we have moved on virtual meetings in high-end hospitals where in we gather the inputs of all key personnel but many of them are at their places of work across the city and state. Just imagine a conference as a meeting, I'm sure many of us would feel at least half of the duration of the 2-3 day meeting of experts could have been better used.

    May be once we do a quick analysis of input-output of each meeting and the implications of the results of such meetings, people move on to constructively contributing to such meetings, adhere to time strictly, always considering the poor colleague who has to still speak, then meetings can start to be productive and people won't be disheartened like this author above.

  • #608735
    The meeting is necessary to run any organisation. But really sometimes it is boring. When no discussion on agenda.
    Last Sunday, there was a meeting, I attended. But members were not ready to the discussion on agenda. They were discussing on the other matter.They spent their time on another discussion. I felt bored. These days, we have no time
    spending on useless gossips. Sometimes, members have no interest about the meeting. They feel the meeting is only a place to get together.

    Service to mankind is service to God.

  • #608738
    Yes,many times it happened so, we were /are used as quoram or witness. As we are nothing to do in the meeting,such meetings are waste.

  • #608747
    Meetings are important for the exchange of views and sharing of progress. But the meetings should be planned in more a systematic way. If someone is conducting different meetings with different people, the common person should chalk out a program in such a way that persons will wait unnecessarily outside the meeting hall without any work. In our organization, we plan the meetings in that way only. Otherwise, as you said people sitting outside will get bored.
    Another problem generally many people face in the meetings, the big boss will never come in time. All others will come and wait for him. Again waste of time. If they come in time all will be there by the time. Meeting Starts at the correct time and ends as per the schedule. Everyone should practice this punctuality in attending the meetings.
    Another important aspect is if various presentations that are going to be presented at the meeting are circulated to the concerned they will go through well in advance and the meeting can be short and precise. It will be more fruitful.

    always confident

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