Most of us love to moan and groan about business meetings that waste our time. Let's face it: Meetings are a necessary part of business—face-to-face communication and collaboration keep the team on track.

Yet, problem meetings continue unless employees step up and fix them. Readers share helpful ideas to cut the dread and improve meeting usefulness. Maybe you can start looking forward to them again.

Current Marketing Challenge

I dread our weekly staff meetings

Every Wednesday, seven other managers, VPs, and I are required to attend an executive staff meeting at our company. For years, our president has been doing these to keep us informed and talk about current projects, new business, problems, sales trends, etc.

It sounds productive, but it isn't. The meetings never start on time, people stroll in late, answer their cells phones, and there's much socializing. When the meeting finally starts, it's haphazard at best. Some people monopolize the conversation and topics; important things are often never discussed.

Sometimes, I feel like standing up and saying, "C'mon, let's get down to business; we all have work to do." But I don't. I know the president thinks these meetings are worthwhile. If they were better organized, I think they could be very productive and not just two-hour "bull sessions" or ego builders.

How do readers organize their meetings? I need help in getting ours on track. Any tips would be appreciated.

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Hank Stroll ( is publisher at InternetVIZ, a custom publisher of 24 B2B e-newsletters reaching 490,000 business executives.