I have sat in meetings where few people knew how to act appropriately. Often people fail to pay attention, become bored and fail to participate when they should. If everyone actually listened and though before they spoke meetings would be far more effective. If everyone followed the tips from last week (how to prepare for a business meeting) then there would be far less repetition and they would flow better. So here are three tips for how to act in a meeting.
- Make notes of any actions: Both directly affecting yourself and those indirectly affecting you. If you don’t take down actions that might indirectly affect you then it can affect negatively in the future. For example a task may be owned by another department head, but there may be dependencies within your own sphere of influence.
- Pay Attention (no phones); Some companies have instigated a no phones policy for meetings, with attendees placing phones in a bucket before entering a room. While I might claim to multitask, my wife would disagree. I am not alone and reading emails during a meeting means that you might hear what is being said but you miss other communication indicators. You have more than one sense, use all of them in meetings (or at the very least sight and hearing at all times).
- Acknowledge the chair at all times: The chairperson can have a tough job, but it made a lot easier if everyone stops speaking listens when they start. They are in charge of the meeting, running it to time and getting actions agreed. While not all meetings will be successful, by acknowledging and supporting the chairperson in their role there is a far greater chance of success for each meeting