Some meetings come and go without agreement to any action. That is, participants leave the meeting without needing to do anything differently from how they went in. Other meetings occur without the preparation of minutes – i.e. a source of truth of what was discussed and agreed upon.

I’m a bit distrustful of these ‘meetings’ – perhaps they are a waste of time.

Perhaps meetings without action items or the preparation of minutes would be better labelled “gatherings” or “congregations”.

For some, these latter two labels might be overly negative and untrusting. They connote that participants came together not to ‘meet and make decisions’, but to engage in “idle chatter”, “vacuous discussion”, or “targetless banter”.

But for others, especially those who are looking for opportunities to optimise their time, perhaps a pre-assessment – of whether or not a meeting is likely to yield minutes or action items – is helpful to decide whether or not to attend.

Avoid gatherings and congregations, and focus on meetings.