Mind Your Meetings Manners


While I love my job, it – like many others – has its share of meetings to attend.

Meetings that can, on occasion, skew from slightly to obscenely boring.

I recently saw this great set of tips to make meetings better, whether you’re just an attendee or running the show.

  1. Be on time. This is obvious, but I am guilty of not always being 100% punctual. Particularly if you’re the organizer of the meeting, it’s disrespectful to attendees if you show up late. Being a few minutes early shows that the meeting is worthwhile.
  2. Have a plan and stick to it. Make an agenda. Be specific. Follow it. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for discussion of hot-off-the-press topics, but if you don’t really have something to say, cancel the meeting.
  3. Only meet when necessary. It’s ok to cancel regularly scheduled meetings once in a while if there are no agenda items.
  4. Don’t meet to discuss meeting! It’s laughable to think that there will be a meeting to discuss another meeting, but it’s happened, trust me.
  5. End on time, but also don’t be afraid to call it quits once you’re done. Agenda ended 15 minutes early? I can guarantee no one will complain about getting some bonus time during the day. Don’t fill the rest of the allotted time with garbage because you think you need to use every minute. Running long? Table items until next time. Seriously, do this.
  6. Ditch the smartphone. I’m guilty of this, too, but someone called me out on it last year and now I try to be 100% present in meetings instead of idly checking my e-mail. It’s so irritating to have someone in the meeting paying 10% attention, tapping away on his/her phone, and then to have the same person interrupt the meeting a few minutes later to ask a question that had already been answered. You would have known that if you hadn’t just spent the last ten minutes liking cat videos on YouTube.  

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