There are tons of things we like about our jobs, but if you ask people what is one of the most dreaded tasks that office workers are asked to do on a regular basis it has to be the mandatory meeting. Office meetings certainly do get a bad rap, and deservedly so because most of them are disorganized and distracted because most people are simply doing them incorrectly. However, when you consider some simple tips, meetings are an important tool for collaboration, getting your team on the same page, and to keep work flow moving smoothly.
Attitude: Always go into meetings with a positive attitude. Tell yourself you're going to make this the best possible scenario for all of those attending. When you shift your attitude about the very nature of meetings before you walk in the door, you can make meetings more effective for yourself and for the good of the company.
Arrive on Time: No one likes to think that someone is wasting their time, especially when there are deadlines to meet. That’s why it’s important to arrive on time for a meeting, including higher management. When you know that your boss and your colleagues respect you and your own schedule, it shifts the attitude and makes for a more productive meeting.
Be Prepared: Again, being prepared goes back to respect for your colleagues. When you arrive at a meeting, on time and prepared to discuss that day’s agenda or to give a progress report on a project, you can expedite the meeting and stay on point so that others may do the same.
Stay on Agenda: We all love to discuss last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, but when meetings go too far off the agenda, you end up wasting people’s valuable time, staying longer than necessary, and/or causing the need for another meeting. Do everyone a favor and stay on point, follow the lead of the meeting organizer and try to not sway too far from the topics at hand. Remember, you can always follow up on other topics at lunch, in a smaller meeting or through email correspondence.
Go Offline: No cell phones. No electronic distractions. No exceptions. Nothing shows disrespect for your colleagues than texting or checking your devices while someone is giving a presentation or update. Unless you have a really big deal happening or a family emergency looming, try to stay hands off with your devices.
End Time: Being on time for a meeting is important, but adhering to an end time is just as important. Again, when you keep meetings to an agreed upon schedule, you show respect for your colleagues and you can get back to your own deadlines as quickly as possible.