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Common Problems with Business Meetings

Do you often find yourself frustrated or demotivated when you see a meeting reminder pop-up in your calendar? This is a common feeling, faced by millions of people every day. After all, we spend so much time in meetings and most of us would agree that we often feel that they are a waste of time or at least, distracting us from important work.

With that in mind, today I am going to outline some of the common problems faced in meetings and give you some tips on how they can be overcome.

So, let’s take a look at and see if we can improve our meeting experience and productivity.

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Holding meetings unnecessarily

The first issue faced by many organisations is that people are calling meetings when they are not necessary. This means that people are being taken away from their work when they should be working on something else.

If you are interested in seeing how to decide whether you should call a meeting or not, then please take a look at my video below.

A lack of planning

The next problem that is often seen with meetings are that they are poorly planned. Poorly planned meetings can mean a number of things. For example, no goals, or desired outcomes, no appropriate agenda or no time or thought given to the process and the timing.

Inviting spectators

There is nothing more frustrating than being in a meeting and thinking to yourself, “What am I doing here?” A meeting should only have the attendees necessary, those who have a role to play and need to participate. If someone doesn’t have to be there, then they shouldn’t be invited.

Late starts

When a meeting starts late, then the probability of success is decreased. In fact, even if a meeting meets all of its objectives, but still started late, this will affect the overall satisfaction of the attendees.

Therefore, never arrive late to a meeting, run your meetings to a schedule and respect other people’s time.

Going over time

Another huge problem today, are meetings that seem to go on forever. This has a huge negative affect on the day of those who attend. Maybe someone has another meeting later in the day and as a result, the next meeting also starts late and goes over time.


Having the necessary documentation before and during the meeting is another problem that can negatively affect the success of any meeting. If you don’t have the relevant data or information, then you are unable to prepare. If you don’t have this information during a meeting, it can mean that you are not able to make decisions.

No outcomes

Have you ever been in a meeting where nothing actually gets decided or happens? There are no next steps? There are no tasks or deadlines. You leave the meeting feeling confused about what was the point of the meeting.

Meetings with no clear and transparent goals are a recipe for disaster. All meetings need to have clear goals, if not, then there may not be a real reason to meet.

Knowing what to say

Participating in meetings and feeling comfortable are essential. A huge problem in meetings where English is spoken, is often related to the fact that people are not sure what language to use, or what to say at the right times.

These issues can range from answering questions, clarifying information or understanding requirements.

Not listening

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming in a meeting? Or maybe you are thinking about what you want to say, instead of listening to the person in front of you.

Being an effective listener and first trying to understand before being understood is essential to being a better meeting attendee.

Not having effective follow up

Finally, not following-up after a meeting is a real problem. This simple task can lead to much better outcomes for the organisation.

Make sure you check in with any guests who attended, ensure that everyone is clear on what was agreed and make sure people are aware of any deadlines.

Final thoughts

I am sure you agree that these are common issues faced by many organisations. Meetings are a great opportunity to create, problem solve, lead and inspire. Unfortunately, they are all too often wasted opportunities and a huge drain on company resources and productivity.

If you want to learn more about planning, running and participating in effective meetings, confidently, then enroll in my course “Confidence in Business English”. On this programme you will learn all the necessary skills, step-by-step, for running and participating at your full potential in business meetings run in English.

Check out all the details below. 

Enroll in "Confidence in Business Meeting" now!

Click below for all the details and to take advantage of the VIP pre-launch offer. 

That is it from me this week. I look forward to hearing from you and I’ll see you next week. Till then.

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Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

Andrew Ambrosius

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