Your Meetings Are Bad And You Should Feel Bad: A Series

John Hartley
3 min readSep 14, 2022

It’s all fixable, but it’s time you took a serious look at your meeting culture.

Thankfully Dr. Zoidberg says it just about as well as anyone can.

Think about the last meeting you organized and ask yourself these questions.

  • Did it seem like attendees were engaged?
  • Were attendees prepared to work on whatever you were discussing?
  • Was a decision made by the end of the meeting?
  • Be honest, could it have been an email?

If you can’t answer these questions, the problem may be worse than you think.

The good news? It’s alright if the problem is bad already. This series will help you start to evaluate what meetings are needed, ways to organize and run them effectively, and how to make each and every meeting together productive.

What This Series Will Cover

It may seem a bit overwhelming initially, but there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to meetings and meeting culture. Over the next month I’ll be posting more on the following topics:

  • Types of Meetings
  • Meeting Participant Considerations
  • What’s Needed For Effective Meetings
  • Performing A Calendar Audit
  • Strategies for Getting Out of Meetings
  • Normalizing Information Consumption
Don’t worry, wide Kylo isn’t real. He can’t hurt you.

Why Do People Hate My Meetings?

Before we get too deep into how to fix your meetings, it’s important to understand why individuals may be unhappy with your meetings as they are. Some common complaints:

  • “This could have been an email”
  • “The meeting organizer read the slide deck to me”
  • “I wasn’t called on”
  • “There wasn’t an agenda”
  • “I broke my focus time for this?!
  • “No one else was paying attention”
  • “We didn’t really talk about anything”
  • “The meeting never ends on…



John Hartley

Engineering leader with a passion for building and growing teams. Writing about leadership and management in the tech industry. Director of Eng @ Curology