" Are you critical about the meetings that you should attend " is often my question when I hear my clients talk about their energy drains. Look at the research figures below: 


  • Organizations hold more than 3 billion meetings each year.
  • Executives spend 40-50% of their working hours — or 23 hours per week — in meetings.
  • 90% of meeting attendees admit to daydreaming in them.
  • 73% acknowledge they do other work during meetings.
  • 25% of meetings are spent discussing irrelevant issues.

Apply Design Thinking, a concept popularized by IDEO founder David Kelly and Stanford’s d.school.

The idea is to put the “user” at the center of the experience.

Start by putting your own expertise and agenda aside and thinking about the people who will be affected by your meeting. Develop empathy for them by asking three sets of questions:

  1. Who is going to be in the room and what are their needs?
  2. Who won’t be in the room but will nevertheless be affected by the meeting and what are their needs?
  3. In what broader culture and environment are you operating and what are some of the overarching challenges and opportunities?

Maya Bernstein Harvard Business Review