According to Dave Kashen, co-founder and CEO of meeting app maker WorkLife, "There are 3 billion meetings a year in the United States, and it is estimated that 50% of their time is wasted." This is a tremendous loss for businesses of all sizes in every industry.

The good news is that bad meetings can be turned into good meetings. The first step is to learn how to identify when a meeting is going bad, and then to do something about it.

Here are eight 8 types of common bad meetings, and Kashen's recommendations on how they can be fixed.

1. The marathon meeting

Some meetings just go on and on--and on--with no end in sight, often running over their scheduled time. Rein in marathon meetings by passing out a meeting agenda to attendees in advance, and then stick to your schedule.

2. The everyone-talks-about-their-weekend meeting

While this kind of meeting most often takes place on Mondays, it can occur anytime the meeting leader doesn't start the meeting on time, and people start socializing. You can avoid this kind of meeting by starting your meetings on time, and not waiting for the stragglers to show up.

3. The meeting of a thousand technological disasters

With so many meeting presentations depending on PowerPoints, laptops, and projectors, anything can go wrong--and it often does. Master your technology before you get into your meeting, not while you're trying to give your presentation.

4. The everyone's unprepared meeting

Nothing is worse than a meeting where no one is prepared. Be sure to create an agenda for every meeting, and insist that attendees be prepared for them. Don't hesitate to call out people who aren't prepared.

5. The meeting to schedule more meetings

Some meetings seem to be held simply to schedule a series of additional meetings. This is a very unproductive use of time for those who attend. Make sure your meeting agenda is clear with actionable takeaways.

6. The meeting with no goal

Every meeting should have one or more goals. According to Dave Kashen, "Goal No. 1 for any meeting should be to arrange a meeting with a tangible, realistic task to accomplish. Otherwise, what's the point?"

7. The "What was that meeting about?" meeting

Some meetings are so unstructured that nothing gets accomplished, and no one remembers what they were about after they end. Avoid this kind of meeting by creating post-meeting action items with assigned owners--then hold them accountable for completing their tasks.

8. The no-show meeting

Have you ever shown up for a meeting that no one else shows up for? I have. If you cancel a meeting, make sure everyone gets the word--before the meeting was supposed to start, not after.

Published on: Apr 13, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.