The number one rule for meetings? Be on time.
Showing up to a scheduled meeting on time or even a few minutes early shows that you respect the other person’s time.
It also shows that you are organised and ready to listen, rather than late and flustered.
When you show up to a professional meeting:
- Bring a positive attitude
- Don’t play on your phone, answer emails or messages
- Listen carefully and offer your full attention. It’s easy to get excited with ideas and want to jump in, but practice deep listening and letting people finish instead of interrupting instead.
- If you are running the meeting, set an agenda so the meeting stays on task and finishes on time
- Arrive prepared to answer questions about your part of the project
- If you are asked a question and don’t know the answer, offer to follow up later and set a reminder
- If you need to leave a meeting early, let the organiser know when you arrive
- Try to avoid fidgeting: tapping pens or your feet, spinning your chair, playing with your papers.
- Keep food away from the conference room. Drinks like water and coffee are usually appropriate to consume.
Once the meeting is over, create a list of action items straight away while the meeting is fresh in your mind. A meeting isn’t meant to be a chat with workmates. Every meeting has a goal, and that goal is to get on the same page, then implement the things you just discussed and achieve results. If there are any unresolved or unclear action items, follow up with a colleague or a meeting organiser to ask questions and plan ahead.