5 Meeting Killers To Avoid – Killer # 1 – Ambiguity

This blog post is the first of a series of five that covers the top 5 meeting killers that are the root causes of most ineffective meetings that we all are forced to suffer through. By combating these 5 meeting killers you can realize tremendous improvements in your meeting effectiveness and reduce the amount of time that you and your coworkers spend in meetings.

Ambiguity is the single most dangerous killer of meeting effectiveness. It is the fog that exists in your meeting space that creates uncertainty, uncertainty leads to confusion, and confusion leads to inefficiency and waste. Ambiguity can impact every single aspect of your meeting performance, including:

· Objectives – why are we even having this meeting?
· Outcomes – what was decided and what are next steps?
· Accountability – who is responsible?
· Timing – when are tasks due?
· Meaning – what does that statement or that acronym mean?

Concept image of a lost and confused signpost against a blue cloudy sky.

At times we see meeting ambiguity as a fairly unintentional but costly factor. Other times ambiguity is used intentionally by meeting attendees to avoid the accountability that comes with precision and clarity. Unfortunately in low accountability business cultures ambiguity provides a safe hiding place from responsibility. When there is uncertainty in a meeting about who is on point for delivering work, when specific actions are due, and overall performance expectations, it makes it much easier for individuals to do as they please, and more difficult for them to “fail” or be held responsible for driving outcomes.

If you want to have fewer, faster, more focused meeting make sure you combat ambiguity at ever step of the meeting process.

How does a lack of clarity contribute to problems in your meetings? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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