What you should not do in meetings
Seven meeting tips
Whether it’s a video conference or a meeting in the conference room: meetings are not among the most popular activities in everyday office life. However, they are an important component. The exchange among colleagues, the provision of information by the management or the presentation of current business figures: Meetings can have a wide variety of contents. It is understandable that not every topic is of great interest to every employee. However, participation is often obligatory and misconduct during a meeting can have negative effects on one’s own career for a long time.
Seven things you should not do in meetings
- Be late
Nothing stands out as negatively as when an employee stumbles into the room after the meeting has started. It causes anxiety, distracts the colleagues already present and possibly interrupts the speaker’s flow of speech or thought. In addition to being impolite, this behavior reflects one thing above all: poor time management and a lack of organizational skills. If the person in question had been able to follow his or her daily routine in a structured manner, he or she would have arrived at the meeting on time. Ideally, it is best to be on site several minutes before the meeting begins and to prepare adequately for the meeting.
- Be unprepared
If a clear agenda or goal has been set before the start of the meeting, it is unprofessional not to read through this information in advance and prepare possible questions. It shows disinterest in the subject matter and does not make a good impression, especially when questions are asked to employees that cannot be answered by the unprepared employee. The result can be quite an embarrassment in front of the colleagues.
- Not listening
It is also embarrassing to be addressed during a meeting after spending the last 15 minutes looking out the window or playing games on your smartphone. Even if you are not interested in the topic, you should remain attentive in order to be prepared for sudden questions.
- Taking the conversation
In meetings, it can happen that employees also have their say in order to make suggestions, express their opinions or make comments. Care should be taken to keep it short and precise and not to lapse into a monologue so that no one else can have a say. It is unlikely that you will be the only one to have a comment on the topic. Simply monopolizing the entire conversation time will cause some displeasure among colleagues.
- Chewing gum
Chewing loud chewing gum should be avoided in meetings per se. On the one hand, it causes annoying noises – if you chew with your mouth open – and on the other, it is extremely rude and seems unprofessional. So it’s better to throw away the chewing gum before the meeting.
- Keep the cell phone on
A cell phone that is switched on is not only distracting for you, but can also disturb all your colleagues, for example if the display is permanently lit, the device vibrates or sounds are heard when messages are received. Unless you’re waiting for a really urgent call, the cell phone should be switched off for the duration of the meeting or at least flight mode should be activated – the same applies to tablets, by the way. Programs such as Word, Excel or Keynote also work without an Internet connection, so it is better to use the device in offline mode to avoid being distracted by incoming mails, messages or similar.
- Suddenly change the topic
Meetings often pursue a certain goal or deal with a predetermined topic. All colleagues are prepared for this topic. And it should stay that way. Simply changing the topic is annoying and counterproductive, as it means that the content that is actually intended can no longer be adequately conveyed.