Ending Meeting Mania

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

Our advisory firm is neither huge nor small. The more we’ve grown, the more our partners think it is important to communicate with everyone about what’s happening. I’m all for open communication, but this has turned into meeting after meeting to talk about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and then the results of what we’re doing.

Sometimes I think we’ve forgotten we have clients to serve and all we do is talk about what we are going to do to serve them. I am not a negative person so I don’t speak up in these meetings and ask why we are there. But it has gotten out of hand. Why not make these meetings optional? Or consolidate them? Is this the byproduct of growth and I just need to resign myself to sitting and listening for hours while I really should be working?


Dear S.T.,

Meeting mania. It’s pervasive in the largest of organizations and even the small ones. Often times when I facilitate executive or team meetings to achieve goals and we talk about obstacles, the biggest one is “time.” Then when I drill down on the time factor, I find so much of it is spent in meeting, upon meeting, upon meeting.

It sounds like your partners have a good objective, but poor execution in how they are managing the communication. Not everyone is auditory, so when everything is delivered via talking, not every member of the team understands. The key is to deliver communication in a variety of modes so everyone’s learning style is touched.