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Do you make meetings painful for others?

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in Meeting Management,Office Management

Not everyone loves meetings, and no one can stand the people who show up and just make things worse. If you don’t want to be one of those people, blogger Alison Green has a list of 10 behaviors you need to be sure to avoid.

  1. Arriving late. It’s rude to every­­one when you show up late, and if you do, be sure you don’t make everyone stop and review what you missed.
  2. Keeping your eyes on your electronics. When people are talking, it’s insensible for you to be looking at your phone, tablet or laptop for reasons unrelated to the topic at hand. Exhibit some respect to your fellow attendees.
  3. Talking too much. Don’t monopolize the conversation by commenting on every point that comes up or by commenting at length on one or more topics.
  4. Staying silent. Unless it’s one of those meetings where you’re just there to listen, you should make some kind of contribution to the work that’s taking place.
  5. Drawing out every discussion. “If you have questions about every topic that comes up, won’t let anything be tabled until you’ve thoroughly discussed it from all angles, derail the agenda with unrelated items and make the group sit through long debates of issues that ultimately don’t need to be resolved at this particular meeting, rest assured that your colleagues are wishing terrible fates upon you,” Green writes.
  6. Eating all by yourself. If lunch is part of the meeting or everyone else brought their own food, it’s fine for you to eat; otherwise stick to a drink.
  7. Showing up unprepared. If you’ve been asked to read something or do some work before a meeting, you need to do it. It’s unfair to hold everyone else back or expect them to do more work because you aren’t ready.
  8. Checking your manners at the door. Don’t roll your eyes, use sarcasm or argue with your colleagues. Keep it professional.
  9. Playing devil’s advocate every time. It can be valuable to question assumptions and look for problems in plans, but if that’s all you do when you come to meetings you’re going to drive everyone nuts.
  10. Allowing bad behavior at meetings where you’re in charge. If you get the reputation for allowing any of the bad behaviors above at meetings you run, people will start dreading them and coming up with excuses to get out of attending.

— Adapted from “10 Reasons No One Wants You in Their Meetings,” Alison Green, U.S. News & World Report’s On Careers blog.

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