This time, from several articles, we have summarised the quintessence of “inefficient meetings“ for you. This is something we’ve been wanting to write about for a longer time. The more we realise the importance of time, the worse inefficient time-wasters get for us.

Despite all new opportunities offered through the digitalised world – starting from e-mails, chatting, video conferences and more – a face-to-face meeting is still the most frequent used communication instrument in companies. In Europe, this leads to around 560 meetings per capita/year. Quite a huge sum, right?


The average person in Europe normally spends about 20-40 % of his or hers working time in meetings, whereas the amount and duration of meetings increase the higher you climb the career ladder. In top management, meetings can even take up 90 % of the working time!

And not without reason, as face-to-face communication enables the simultaneous direct transfer of information, personal interaction, creates trust and prevents misunderstandings.

Sounds good, right?

So why does your hair stands on end when just thinking of Jour Fixe, strategy meetings, Tour de Table and – our personal highlight – “the working group“?

Why do we hardly know somebody who can say about him- or herself: I totally like meetings!“?


10 well-known “meeting mistakes“

  1. There is no agenda.
  2. The goals are unclear.
  3. No agreement on definite next steps/To Do’s.
  4. Responsibilities for defined measures are not assigned or not fairly distributed.
  5. Follow up appointments/implementation controls/deadlines are not stipulated.
  6. Single participants behave counter-productively, for example, they act dominantly, try to distinguish themselves, are holding monologues and so on.
  7. Apropos “monologues“: no one pays attention to time discipline.
  8. People are “beating around the bush“ instead of naming problems.
  9. A lot of time is wasted through trivial questions.
  10. Meetings are constantly interrupted by requests from colleagues, telephone calls, file searches and so forth.

It is therefore not surprising that almost nobody likes to participate in meetings! Thus: What do all these meetings have in common? They are not productive, inefficient, boring and cost a huge amount of money.

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And here, there are not just personnel costs that every single participant causes during an inefficient meeting. Have you ever heard of “opportunity costs”? These are the costs that occur when employees take time for meetings and therefore cannot make other tasks that would possibly be more profitable. Completely apart from the so-called “subsequent costs“, this can occur through wrongs decisions and a lack of motivation. And now comes the worse part: due to inefficient meetings, per year, there are expenses in the amount of BILLIONS.


But what can be done against inefficient meetings? Our answer will barely surprise you: a good facilitation is very important in a meeting!

And here, it is enough to follow some easy rules:

  1. There is an agenda
  2. Goals are clearly stated
  3. Clear next steps/To Do’s are stipulated


Well, is this list familiar to you?:) Of course, the efficient moderation of meetings is primarily a task of the respective person in charge (when it can’t just be externally assigned ! 🙂 ) but also as a normal participant you can smartly intervene in case of a missing facilitation, for example, to ask for an agenda, stimulate a discussion on common goals to be achieved or to ask for upcoming To Do’s.

What experiences have you made with the efficiency of meetings? Do you have tips for a reader how to have more efficient meetings? (In an article, we found an interesting idea: for every exceeded minute, the moderator places 1 Euro into the team account; We must admit, even in our case, as experienced moderators, a really good dinner would be feasible for us 🙂 )

All the best, Your BusinessMind team