As a follow up to Staff Meetings 101: A Guide for Younger Employees, here are several basic tips to help you keep your sanity … and possibly your job.
- Do NOT ask and/or whine: “Why am I here? What am I supposed to do?”
The purpose of the meeting may not have been communicated effectively, but you still need to be respectful in learning why you’ve been asked to attend. It’s OK to ask, “I’m unsure about the objectives for this meeting and my role here. So that I can effectively participate, please clarify the purpose of this meeting and my role in it.”
- Do NOT say: “This meeting sucks!”
You may think it, but don’t vocalize it. Again, you need to be respectful and show some restraint so you don’t come off as a complainer or wise-ass. It’s important to engage your brain before you engage your mouth. Also, be mindful of your body language as well so that you appear attentive. For example: sit up, don’t slouch … make eye-contact with the meeting leader or the person who is speaking … if you’re tired, grab some caffeine (if available) or take notes – whatever will help you stay focused during the meeting. Also, turn off your cell phone so you and the other meeting attendees are not distracted by it.
- Do NOT ask: “Where’s the food?”
Granted, this is often used as a motivator to get people to meetings, but don’t expect it each time. However, when you’re in a meeting that’s running well into the lunch or dinner hour, and the meeting was supposed to break before then, at an appropriate time you may joke “Where’s the take-out menu?”
These are just a few “filtering” tips to keep you from saying the wrong things. I welcome your comments, ideas, and stories on what else NOT to do in meetings.