Studies show that in the United States, there are over 50 million meetings held each week. That totals about 11 million meetings per day and over 1 billion per year. With the amount of time we spend in meetings, it seemed fit to brush up on meeting etiquette. It can be easy to forget how to properly conduct yourself in meetings (especially if you’ve adopted a remote schedule). We’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts that apply whether you are attending a virtual or in-person meeting.
- Show up on time. Whether you are logging into a Zoom or Teams meeting or walking into the conference room, showing up on time is crucial. If you arrive you will not only cause an uncomfortable disruption, but you may miss out on information that is necessary for your job. Fashionably late is for birthday parties and family gatherings, not work meetings. If you are running behind on a previous call or task, make sure to let the appropriate parties know you will be arriving a few minutes late and quietly join when you are able.
- Come prepared. If you are presenting you should be prepared with any material, you need whether it be electronic reports or copies of documents to be reviewed. If you are simply observing, you should be prepared with a notepad and pen to take notes that may pertain directly to your role.
- If you are working remotely, keep active in the meeting. You can turn your mic off if you are not actively speaking to avoid any disruptions. If you are attending an in-person meeting, sit up in your chair and keep eye contact. Engage in productive conversation and be prepared to answer any questions that may come your way.
- Ask questions. If you are struggling to understand the purpose of the meeting or feel lost, ask questions. Make sure to be diligent and purposeful with your questions. You want to keep the pace of the meeting flowing while also getting your questions satisfied.
- Be uninvolved. If you are working remotely, now is not the time to turn your camera off and sit back on the couch. If you enjoy the work-life balance that working remotely gives you, make sure to be engaged during your meetings to prove that you can handle the remote life.
- Eat or drink. Snacking and mealtime should be left for when you are not attending a meeting. Chomping can certainly pose a distraction to whoever is presenting the meeting and cause it to go off course. Though, bringing water or a cup of coffee is an exception to this rule just try to keep the slurping to a minimum.
- Be distracted. This rule pertains specifically to remote workers, as it would be hard to multi-task while attending an in-person meeting. Be sure to eliminate all distractions before a meeting. As daunting as some meetings can feel, keeping active during them will likely speed them up and get you onto your next task faster.
- Go off-topic. As easy as it is to go off-topic before you know it the clock is rounding an hour for a meeting that was supposed to be 20 minutes. Keep the conversation flowing as best you can to target the task at hand.
If you are a frequent flyer in meetings and you feel as though they are keeping you from getting your work done, don’t hesitate to have a conversation with your higher-up. There may be a meeting or two that don’t benefit your role that you may be able to get out of. For further assistance please give us a call at (518) 275-4816.
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