When you are busy at work—or maybe just in general—the last thing you may want to do is attend meetings. They can be real time wasters, for sure, especially when they are unproductive. Just make sure you aren’t part of the problem by ensuring that you aren’t one of these types of meeting participants:
The Side Tracker. Don’t go off on tangents or bring up unrelated issues. All that does is slow down the meeting. Instead, jot down your ideas in a notebook and follow up with the necessary people after the meeting.
The Side Conversationalist. Don’t whisper to the person next to you. It’s distracting, and worse, other attendees could think you are talking about them. Address the whole group or no one at all. Save private conversations for a later time when they can truly be private.
The Self-Centered Complainer. Sure, you may be affected and it may make your life difficult for a while. Still, don’t spend the entire meeting talking about your concerns, especially if they only apply to you. If your issues are relevant to the group, bring them up. Otherwise, talk to your boss later about the details that impact you only.
The Parrot. Don’t reiterate what other people say or try to take credit for the original idea. If you don’t have anything new to add, don’t talk.
The Always-Negative Devil’s Advocate. Absolutely, if you see flaws, you should point them out; but if you shoot down every single idea, you come across as a change resister. Talk about challenges that you will face, but also share solutions for dealing with those challenges.
— Adapted from “13 Types of Meeting Attendees You Don’t Want to Be,” Hannah Morgan, US News & World Report, http://money.usnews.com.