And on Friday, you’ll be asking ‘Where did the week disappear to?
Followed by the question ‘And what have I actually achieved?’
For many managers and leaders, the days and weeks
are swallowed up by meetings, which are often:
- Too long
- Late starting
- Late finishing
- Interrupted by phone calls/texts
If this sounds familiar, could it be that you are unwittingly accepting a company culture that doesn’t respect people’s time when it comes to meetings?
This was the case with a recent client who was frustrated by the number of meetings she had to attend, where many failed to start on time due to late arrivals, or ran on late, making it hard for her to organise, manage and execute her workload. Meeting productivity was also affected when people arrived unprepared or simply didn’t participate.
Exploring the issue and repercussions of continuing like this provided a determination to highlight the issues with her colleagues, who, she assumed, must have been experiencing similar frustrations. The senior leadership team indeed agreed that it was time to change the company culture. They committed to making meetings more efficient by agreeing to new guidelines, therefore freeing up valuable time that could be better used elsewhere.
My client was happy to share with me (and you) the result of their efforts – an agreement with colleagues to hold each other accountable to the new Meeting Etiquette.
Meeting Etiquette - with Respect
Recognise other people’s time is just as valuable as yours: arrive on time or advise the other participants and re-arrange the meeting as soon as you realise you are unable to attend.
Engage in the meeting: listen to what people are saying, take your own notes, provide your own thoughts where appropriate, and refrain from holding your own separate conversations when others are talking.
Switch your work mobile phone/landline and emails to ‘do not disturb’ or off and do not spend your time checking it: If possible, put your phone away as it can be distracting to all. If you are expecting an urgent call, let people know at the start of the meeting.
Prepare for the meeting in advance.
Engaged sign on a door: this means do not interrupt, unless the occupant specifically asked you to.
Concise: recognise people are busy or others may have booked the meeting room after you so say want you need to say in as few words as necessary. Don’t repeat yourself or give unnecessary information.
Time: try to be realistic about the length of time required for the meeting: ensuring you end it on time
Is it time to review your Meeting Etiquette?