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Getting the Most Out of Meetings: When to Cancel

Josh Griffin —  July 31, 2009 — 2 Comments

Last week I wrote about starting an effective meeting, and continuing the theme of meetings I thought I would take on the idea of actually (gasp!) canceling a meeting. There are certainly times when a meeting should be canceled. Here’s a few of the good ones:

YOU SHOULD CANCEL A MEETING …

When the information you have to share is irrelevant/old
There are clear times you should cancel your meeting – like when the information you were planning on sharing is now out of date or irrelevant. Cancel quick and retool with the new information.

When the right people can’t be there
If the players can’t make the game, you don’t play. Sometimes the forfeit if the right call, even though it is sure to bum out you as a leader. The problem is you view the meeting as a single step in a long process, and have already made plans well down the line. So when the step can’t be taken, you see a whole future falling apart before your very eyes. Take heart, a canceled meeting is better than a meeting with half your players. Be sure to reschedule quickly or you won’t recover.

When something else trumps it
Sometimes, the day just isn’t right for an important meeting like the one you have planned. Ripples run through organizations and become waves that can come crashing down at just the wrong time. Yes, there are times to fight through the ups and downs of a work day, and other times to just let it go. Don’t wuss out when you should be strong, but be sensitive to waves in your professional culture.

When you could just email everything
Sometimes, you may plan a meeting thinking you would have something to say … but you don’t. As you look over your notes and agenda you realize that maybe you should just email the details to people. If you ever think that … cancel the meeting and email out the details. Time is ultra valuable to people, one less meeting, as long as you can still maintain effectiveness is the way to go.

If you’re burned out on meetings
Meetings on top of meetings are pointless. Less meetings are better – if you are keeping your volunteers out too many nights a week or feel your own ineffectiveness, perhaps you should consider meeting less often. Could we meet with our volunteers quarterly instead of monthly? Twice a year? Maybe leverage technology a little more with an MP3 via email or dropping some thoughts on YouTube? Just because you’ve always had that meeting doesn’t mean it still needs to live under your leadership.

Share another reason to cancel in the comments!

JG

Josh Griffin

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2 responses to Getting the Most Out of Meetings: When to Cancel

  1. Kyle Cleveland July 31, 2009 at 1:04 am

    I love this series… Thanks MTDB!

  2. You should cancel a meeting when:
    1) Aliens attack.
    2) When your meeting is about painting the sanctuary.

    You should not cancel your meeting when:
    1) The meeting is about Aliens painting the sanctuary.

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