Career advice: How to impress the boss during meetings
So, you have been invited to a meeting as a participant and are unsure of how to prepare and what your role will be
So, you have been invited to a meeting as a participant and are unsure of how to prepare and what your role will be. Read on for our professional guide to get senior heads turning – in a good way.
Ill-prepared members of a team will make the following mistakes, so make sure you avoid these pitfalls.
You failed to read the agenda and have done no prep, leading to wasted time and frowns all round.
The message: I disrespect my colleagues as this meeting is less important that other things.
Turning up late
Many turn up late, having expected the meeting to wait for their arrival, make a fuss of apologizing then waste more time going off in search of coffee.
The message: I disrespect my colleagues as my time is much important than theirs
Using your phone
Would you constantly look at your phone in a meeting with your boss? Do you answer the phone if it rings and leave the room to have a long conversation?
Tellingly, a British MP was suspended for playing games on the phone during a parliamentary meeting and while I am aware that in Middle Eastern meetings people use the phone for translation, it should be kept to a minimum.
The message: I disrespect my colleagues as I have better things to do than be in this meeting
Having a one-to-one slanging match
A one-to-one personal slanging match for ten minutes is not only embarrassing for the onlookers but again costs time. I was in a meeting in Italy where two participants had a fight – I was told it happens all the time.
It is a good idea to instigate the five minute rule so that any participant can ask people to stop.
The message: I disrespect my colleagues as I would rather air my dirty laundry than be productive.
Disrupting the agenda and hijacking the meeting
Some people want to follow their own agenda and try to hijack the meeting. Having a timed agenda enables the facilitator to close an unresolved issue and it also allows the facilitator to add topics at the end of the agenda or for next time.
The message: I disrespect my colleagues as my personal agenda is more important than the agreed one.
The moral of the story
When you commit to a meeting as an attendee you should be committing to turn up on time, prepare in advance, participate in the meeting in an appropriate manner and do the follow up work so the next meeting Is also successful.
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