Things to Avoid at Work Meetings

Work meetings are strategic moments for developing a project or solving a problem. However, if many people see meetings as a waste of time (especially when poorly planned), others see it as an opportunity to stand out. It is also a time to show yourself as a committed and prepared professional to deal with the proposed job.

But as in any social gathering, work meetings also have their rules for living together. In this post, we selected some things not to do or avoid in a business meeting. Check them out below:

Arrive at the last minute

The first mistake you can make at a work meeting is to be late for it. Getting in the middle of someone’s speech when the room is already full is embarrassing for everyone. Your co-workers and boss may see you as disorganized and unprofessional. Or worse: that meeting may not seem that important to you.

Professional meetings are scheduled in advance. So, when you receive an invitation to a meeting, mark it on your calendar and avoid making other appointments at very close times. Arriving a few minutes early shows that you are committed to the company’s schedule. And it also gives you the chance to choose a strategic place to sit!

Being unprepared

Every meeting has a purpose. It can be for a discussion of one subject or several. Therefore, it demands a certain preparation from its participants. When notified of a meeting, you will be informed about the meeting’s purpose and will often receive a written list by email.

It is important to organize your time and take a moment to read the plan. Think of strategies on the subject that can be discussed and raise data to be presented, if necessary. This attitude reinforces the idea that you are a committed professional. That participates actively in the development of projects and problem-solving in the company.

Not paying attention to all topics

Some people only pay attention to the meeting when the topic is related to their area of expertise. This happens especially in meetings with multidisciplinary teams. They pay attention and make contributions to them, but they don’t want to look interested when the topic changes.

The lack of engagement in a meeting shows selfish behavior to others. As much as a company’s teams do not have different assignments, all work performed is interconnected. Not being interested in what others have to say is a sign that you do not value their work.

Transform a dialogue into a monologue

Lack of engagement is a problem, but so is meeting monopolization. Except in cases where you are presenting a project or will answer questions from co-workers, avoid becoming the center of attention. This means respecting other participants’ speaking time. Expose your arguments objectively, without extending and taking the time of the meeting. Besides, of course, maintaining a professional attitude.

It is also important to remember a hierarchical protocol in which senior employees speak first and then pass the floor on to other participants to contribute.

Leave the discussion agenda

As mentioned above, every meeting has a purpose and a pre-defined plan that will guide the discussions. Leaving the agenda and addressing other matters in the middle of the meeting eliminates the focus on the subject and hinders the project’s progress that should be discussed.

This also involves creating conversations parallel to the meeting with co-workers on other matters. Even if they are work-related, the meeting time should not be devoted to resolving issues on the agenda.

If there is an urgent need to discuss topics off the agenda with all colleagues, talk to whoever is conducting the meeting. He may give you a few minutes at the beginning or end of the meeting to give you a quick explanation of the matter. Thus, the participants will be able to think together if the topic should be discussed there or be the subject of a new meeting.

Using your mobile phone

Smartphone phones are full of applications that make life easier and more productive at work. However, they are very distracting and, used at the wrong time, can bring your professional image problems.

Picking up the phone in the middle of the meeting is an extremely unprofessional and disrespectful attitude towards co-workers. Especially if you are caught checking your social networks or replying to personal messages, the ringing of a mobile phone can interrupt a colleague’s speech and line of thought. And the constant vibration notifying messages received causes discomfort and took the focus off all participants. Prefer to leave it in your office.

Missing the meeting

As you may have seen above, some attitudes can ruin a meeting. But not being part of it can also have serious effects on your work.

It is at the meeting that you have the opportunity to express your ideas on a certain subject. In this way, you show that you are on top of the issues and have contributions to make, projecting a positive and professional image. It is a moment where you show how you work as a team and stand out to managers.

Of course, some exceptions justify their absence. In these cases, it is important not only to notify in advance and justify your absence. So, think of other ways to participate in the discussion. Write your contributions to the agenda and send it to your boss before the meeting.

No teasing

Be professional. Participating in a meeting as a “kitty crib,” agreeing with everything the boss says, is not good. Stay focused, realize where you can contribute, and present details or data on the subject that the boss will eventually be unaware of.

Speak the necessary

A good public speaking course can help you present your ideas more professionally. Choose your words well and maintain an appropriate tone of voice, even in tense situations. This demonstrates maturity. Talk less and listen more. But when talking, do it objectively.

Avoid interrupting others

Cutting the other person’s speech is equally harmful, especially if you are forcing your participation concerning colleagues. So, find the right time to give your participation and, of course, if you have something relevant to say. But don’t forget to respect your colleague’s ideas, even if they are different from yours.

Say nothing

If talking a lot is not good, going to mute and leaving quiet is not cool. Going unnoticed can convey the image of sloppy or disinterested. Okay, well, maybe you’re afraid to participate. But if you follow the advice above, you will have the opportunity to say something and contribute to the meeting.

But if the presentation overwhelms you, make notes; this can help convey interest.

Resolve other things

Resolving other urgencies during the meeting to save time is something to be avoided. Stop fiddling with your cell phone. This creates discomfort in people.

You are at the meeting to follow what is being said and to contribute when necessary. Leave to do your thing when the meeting is over or get ahead, as we suggested above.

Abusing technical terms

Technical terms, especially if you have people from other areas in the meeting, do not help. On the contrary, it gets boring. Instead, give examples and make comparisons to be easily understood.

Talk a lot about yourself

Did you dedicate yourself to the project? Cool. But it is not necessary to talk only about how you dedicated yourself to the project or its importance in the outcome of the result that is being presented. Value the participation of colleagues and show what the company will gain by accepting what is being proposed.