What to do?
Your boss conducts terrible meetings. You can put up with it.
Or, you could try:
1) Start with praise, such as: “I know you work hard. And I have an idea that would help you get more done.”
2) Offer to help with some small part of a meeting that would make the process more effective.
3) Leave a book on effective meetings on your desk.
4) Give your boss a book on effective meetings as a gift.
5) Conversationally (such as during lunch) mention that you read an article about meetings that told about a “really great” technique for . . . . (something such as preparing an agenda, or making decisions, or etc.)
6) Confront your boss directly with an idea, such as, “I think our meetings would take less time if we had an agenda.”
7) Offer to prepare the agenda for a meeting. As part of this task, ask your boss questions such as, “What is your goal for the meeting?” or “What result do you want to have at the end?” Then ask other questions such as, “What do you think is the best way to accomplish that result?”.
8) Ask your boss to use a facilitator for a meeting.
9) Ask your boss to send everyone to a workshop on holding effective meetings (because everyone else needs it). And of course, your boss should attend, just to find out what everyone else will be learning.
10) Wait until your boss complains about bad meetings. Then ask gentle guiding questions such as, “What makes you upset with that?” Perhaps, such questions can lead your boss to accepting a new idea.
11) Complain about someone else’s meeting. For example, you could say, “Wow, what a waste to time. No agenda and no one know what to do. We just sat around and talked about everything except anything that mattered.” – – Caution. This can backfire if the boss reacts by defending the other person.
If none of these ideas work, then you might consider:
12) Wait until your boss retires, moves on, or quits.
13) Ask for a transfer to a different department (to enrich your career, for example).
Bonus: Have a question about meetings? Send it from my web site.