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Meetings play very crucial roles for the organization. Meetings sometime can be for general discussion, sometimes for SWOT analysis, sometimes for big decision. Practically many meetings go useless. After being on the receiving end of the complaints of many experienced managers I have decided to coin these useless meeting as “Tea Biscuit meetings”.

For better understanding let’s divide meetings into two parts.

1. Purpose :

Be sure about the purpose of calling or attending meeting. Sometimes deviating from main topic is good to fill out the boredom and breaking ices but getting too much indulged in out of context topics is just a waste of time and resources.

I was once told that in one of so-called managerial meetings all eight participants talked about their foreign trips and at the end of session they decided to hold the further discussions and postponed the discussion of real agendas.

Does that ring any bell? Do you remember any useless meeting you have attended? Please share the worst “tea biscuit meeting” you have attended in comment box below.


Impact is the result you have devoted your whole preparations for, from the initial phase to the end of meeting. Results can be in various forms; it can be in the form of approvals, finalization of contracts, appointments and appraisals etcetera.

Best Meeting practices yields best Meeting Impact.‘

Management is not predefined sets of rules and formulas. It is not total science to have same rigid formulae or process. It depends on person to person and organization to organization. Sometimes when we show dissatisfaction with management regarding useless meeting they give a hint, “This is our organization culture.”

I have collected few ideas or process that can help you, not to call/avoid “Tea Biscuits Meetings”


The agendas of meeting must be crystal clear and as straightforward and uncomplicated as possible. Agendas will help every participant to prepare for meetings, raise and solve queries. With agendas one can forecast what possible questions will rise?

Make the thumb rule, “No agenda no meetings.”

2. Circulate the details

Your agenda must be clearly circulated. If it is of secret nature mail the participants with disclosures and if of general nature than you can paste on Office notice boards. Use all possible ways of communication verbal, written, formal or informal.

As a rule make sure, “Agendas shall reach all the eyes.”

3. Ask participants to prepare

Ask the concerned person to be prepared. You can send messages like, “We are holding final meeting regarding ….. project as on …… so please be prepared.”

This will help to reduce 50% of time which could have been used for subject matter discussion.

As a rule keep in mind “Preparation is recipe for Finesse.”

4. Give the sharp time

I don’t know how rigid you are with time in your nation but at least in South Asia I could guarantee there are very few who respect other’s time. If you have been called for meeting from 10:00 am onwards then participant will start coming from 10:15 am onwards and your meeting will formally begin at 11:00 am.

Make the strong culture of respecting time, “Time Is Money. Respect Money.”

These were 4 powerful tips that you can adopt with no cost at all. There might be other ways too, that you or your organization has been adopting not to let the meetings turn into “Tea Biscuit meetings”. Do share your sound practices regarding holding of meetings.

There are some more ways to hold a fruitful meetings. But practically these are little tough to be implemented. These includes “notifying participant not to attend phones unless it’s emergency”, “securing Wi-Fi at meeting rooms.

Thanks for reading so enthusiactically. I hope you found it useful. You can read some similar articles in my blog

Follow @infodipen on twitter to remain updated.


Published by

Dipendra Prasad Poudel
(Article Assistant ( Internal Audit) )
Category Professional Resource   Report

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