The Absolute Worst Things To Do In A Meeting
Love them or hate them, meetings are a huge part of your work life. From office meetings that can last all day to stand-up minutes meetings and virtual calls that take up a few moments, most of us have to deal with them all. These are some things you should never do in meetings.
Who amongst us hasn’t cringed in an office meeting that could have been an email? Most of us have witnessed uncomfortable exchanges between work rivals. Or we have been blown away by a colleague’s ability to string together an array of buzzwords that mean nothing. Yet, no matter how mind-numbing things get during meetings, your conduct in a meeting can speak volumes about your professionalism, skill and tact. The fact is that meetings, whether in-person or online, play a major role in how people perceive you at the workplace. Here are ten things that you should never do in a business meeting.
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1. Not setting the agenda
Fifteen minutes into the meeting and people look clueless. If you have organized the meeting, it is crucial to send the motive of the meeting to all those involved, highlight the areas that will be covered and give everyone a chance to be prepared. Follow the agenda during the meeting. A directionless meeting can be particularly frustrating to higher authorities who have given you valuable time out of their busy schedules.
2. Arriving late
Regardless of the importance of the meeting, if you have agreed to be there, be there early. Being late for an internal meeting can be interpreted as being disrespectful to your team. Of course, there are times when delays are inevitable, be courteous and phone ahead.
3. Yawning and fidgeting
Yes, long meetings in a warm room can make you feel drowsy and uncomfortable. While it’s not the worst thing you can do in a meeting, yawning can be easily misinterpreted as a sign of boredom. You can resolve this by making the meeting interactive. Another way is to keep meetings to the point and allow breaks for longer meetings. Coffee and beverages are your friends here.
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4. Know your audience
Make sure you know the designations and seniority of the people in the meeting. Be aware of the agenda, and have your talking points prepared for a smoother flow and presentation. Mind the basics like ensuring your phone is on silent to avoid interrupting the meeting.
5. Not Knowing Your Role in the Meeting
Hijacking a meeting as well as allowing someone else to take over unnecessarily wastes time. When you are a part of a meeting, be a team player. Know when to talk and more importantly know when to stop. Remember meetings are not a competition to see who can talk the most, it is usually more important to listen than talk.
6. Settling a score
Nothing is as vicious as using the public platform of a meeting to single out someone to chastise. Keep your emotions under check at all times, and know when to draw the line. Letting your temper fly and humiliating a colleague publically is no longer tolerated.
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Few Rookie Mistakes to Avoid
1. Not knowing the dress code for the meeting.
2. Wearing too much deodorant or sometimes none at all.
3. Not acknowledging and accepting mistakes.
4. Not having a backup plan for faulty technology will make you look underprepared.
5. Multitasking during a meeting will make it difficult for you to stay focused.
6. Don’t think you are an expert. Listen to ideas across the board.
7. Not praising and acknowledging your teammates' success will demotivate them.
8. Forgetting to maintain a professional relationship.
9. Addressing the wrong person or forgetting the name.
10. Interrupting without asking permission is rude.