top of page

The Person Who Will Kill Your Meeting

Who does most of the talking in your meetings?

Meetings. Some of you just had a full body shiver. Meetings are often listed as the biggest time wasters in the workplace. In fact, my dad, The General, used to say, “Meetings are where people sit around talking about the things they should be out there doing!”

I hated meetings during my twenty years in the corporate world. Now I get to observe meetings in workplaces across various industries both in the business world and with public servants. I have come to a firm realization that the person most likely to kill a meeting is - The Leader.

It’s amazing to watch as an observer and not a participant. In those meetings, I watch and listen to what a leader says and does. But at the same time, I watch the attendees' words and actions as well. The truth is the leader is usually their own worst enemy in these meetings. They are the reason meetings are repetitive, unproductive, and cause full body shivers.

There are some great articles and books on how to run an effective meeting. I do recommend Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni. I am not going to rehash his advice or that of others. I want to focus on how a leader’s character shows up in these meetings by looking at three of the six Habits of Character.

After each definition, there are some questions we should ask ourselves as we lead meetings.

Humility: Believing and acting like “it’s not about me.”

  • Who does most of the talking in our meetings?

  • How do I rect when someone disagrees with me?

  • When was the last time someone disagreed with me in a meeting?

Courage: Acting despite perceived or actual risk.

  • When was the last time I changed my plans based on someone else's feedback?

Selflessness: Putting the needs of others before my own needs, desires, and convenience.

  • Who is the meeting for and how did it make the attendees better?

If you don’t like the answers to these questions, here are some practical suggestions so you are not the leader who kills his/her own meetings:

  • Be the last to speak, not the first.

  • Lead by asking questions not by making statements.

  • Ask for feedback and don't argue with the feedback when you get it.

  • Encourage honest feedback because that is the only way you will know the truth.

  • Change your plans when someone presents you with new information.

  • Be sure the meeting has clear objectives and those objectives make people better.

Don’t be the person who kills their own meetings! We must enter each meeting and exercise Humility, Courage and Selflessness. Without those habits in place, it doesn’t matter how many books or articles we read, our meetings will at best be lifeless and repetitive. Lively meetings or dead meetings - it all goes back to the leader.


  • If the leader speaks too much, how does that kill a meeting?


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.

Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

96 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page