Top 8 meeting pet peeves

Below are the meeting behaviors people find most annoying, according to a study by Igloo Software. Are you guilty of committing or condoning any of them? Here’s what the survey responses of 1,000 people who have worked in an office environment indicate:

  1. 76% despise unproductive meetings. Establish goals, set and agenda and follow it to a tee to ensure you meet your objectives.
  2. 59% hate meetings that veer off topic. When conversations stray from the agenda, refocus everyone. Park the discussion of unrelated topics until a more appropriate time.
  3. 58% can’t stand when people repeat what others have said. Set a team rule that no one should speak, unless they have something new to add.
  4. 51% loath when people take calls during meetings. Ban cellphone use from all your meetings. Make sure you set the example.
  5. 47% of people are annoyed by side conversations. When employees engage in conversations that don’t include the entire group, say, “So-and-so, please speak up so we can all hear” to discourage the behavior.
  6. 47% also dislike it when one or two people dominate discussions. Counter that by saying, “So-and-so, we’ve heard your thoughts. Let’s hear what other people have to say.” Or call on specific employees to offer feedback and ideas.
  7. 34% wish technical issues weren’t such a problem. Check that your equipment is working before the meeting. Have a backup plan if problems arise. Don’t force people to sit and wait while you work out technical kinks.
  8. 29% don’t want to see PowerPoints all the time. Unless PowerPoints truly add to the presentation, do away with them. Provide handouts or make notes on a whiteboard as you talk. Or simply just speak in a manner that keeps listeners engaged.