Skip to main content

Management Don’t forget the meeting items you put in the ‘parking lot’

If you put meeting items in the ‘parking lot,’ make sure you return to them at the end.

Thinkstock/Getty Images/Comstock Images

Consultant Kevin Eikenberry says the most misused tool in meetings is the "parking lot," the holding ground for tangential topics that are raised but are viewed as better to be assessed on another occasion.

Parking ideas offside is great tool for keeping meetings on track, Mr. Eikenberry says on his blog. But too often, leaders have no plans to actually revisit the matters they have sidetracked; they really use it as a tactic to get rid of matters they don't want to discuss at all, he says. Even leaders who have good intentions forget about the parking-lot issues in the rush to conclude a meeting. The result: The parking lot becomes viewed as a sham.

He urges you to be disciplined about the parking lot, scheduling a few minutes at the end of the meeting to review whether the matters in it are still an issue (perhaps some were resolved in deciding the overall topic). Check if there is an action item that can be created from each parking-lot issue or whether the topic needs to be on a future meeting agenda.

Story continues below advertisement

Make sure that some next step is developed for every parking-lot issue, even if it's nothing more than having it continue to stay offside until addressed more fully at the next meeting.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Harvey Schachter is a Battersea, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online work-life column Balance. E-mail Harvey Schachter

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter