Another year, another chance. With 2016 just around the corner, you can say goodbye to these less-than-ideal meeting practices and leave them where they belong — in the past. Check out the list below:
- Showing up late
It’s distracting when a person suddenly enters a room while someone else is presenting at the front. These little interruptions cause delays, and they can add up if several people end up late for the same meeting. Strive to be punctual for your meetings. If you can’t physically make it one time, then try to join remotely using a board meeting solution like Convene. You may be stuck in traffic somewhere, but at least you won’t miss an important discussion.
- Coming in unprepared
Meeting packs are often sent out days before a meeting, leaving you with no excuse to attend a meeting with only a vague idea of what’s going to happen. Also, your credibility will take a hit if you have nothing useful to say when someone asks you a question. Save your own reputation among your colleagues and also everyone else’s time by knowing your stuff before you even consider walking into a meeting.
- Focusing on your smartphone for personal reasons
In the past, mobile phones and other devices were generally banned in meetings. But times have changed — people are now using these same gadgets to make meetings more productive. But if you’re sneaking a peek at your emails or hashing out some quick text messages, then you’re mentally taking yourself out of the meeting, which defeats the whole purpose of your presence. Whether you’re a board director or an intern, you’re there for a reason, so maximize your attendance by fully participating in the meeting. Your fellow attendees deserve 100% of your attention.
- Doing all the talking
If there are people who don’t participate much in a meeting, then there are also those who are are too involved to the point that they monopolize discussions. Don’t be that guy (or gal)! A meeting is a collaborative session wherein different people get to provide their input for important decisions, so give everyone else the chance to share their thoughts. This is particularly true when you’re in a position of authority — it’s best to hear out all participants before you weigh in with your own opinion to avoid influencing theirs.
- Letting meetings run over
People care so much about starting meetings on time, but what about making sure they end on time as well? Other attendees may have other appointments to go to, so sticking to the original plan is a sign of consideration and respect for their schedules. And even if they have the time to spare, it’s still no reason to spend it on a meeting that has gone off-track. The solution? Create a well-planned agenda, allot a specific duration for each section, follow it as much as possible, and take the initiative to wrap things up when needed.
These are just a few bad meeting practices people need to shake off before 2016 comes along. Do you have your own habits you want to break? Share them with us in the comment section below!