October 14, 2016
To All Meeting Attendees Out There – It’s Up to You to Make Meetings Productive
Dear everyone who has ever been in a meeting,
I think we can all agree that not every meeting we’ve ever been to has been succinct, productive and frankly worth that 30 minutes of our day. Even though we complain about the same things every time – too long, too pointless, too boring, too inconvenient – it seems the humdrum of meetings never changes. Well, it’s time for that to change. Here are a few easy tips to get the most out of each meeting:
- Come with questions. If you know what the meeting is about, take five minutes to prep by jotting down a few questions to ask colleagues and the organizer. You’ll feel more engaged and in touch with the topics being covered.
- Silence your phone. Nothing distracts you more than using your cell phone for non-work related activities (as we’ve discovered). Silence it before heading into a meeting, or if you’re feeling brave, don’t bring it at all – we promise you can survive for a few minutes without it. Focus is key!
- Grab a snack. There’s nothing worse than the combination of a growling stomach, hanger and being stuck with co-workers for a two hour long meeting. If you know the meeting will run through lunch or be extra long, bring some brain food that will help you concentrate on the material at hand, like a protein bar, nuts or dark chocolate. (Meeting Tip: avoid items like chips or apples that are crunchy and may distract others).
- Be present. It sounds simple enough, but we all know it’s harder than it seems. Try to set aside all other work and be fully engaged in the meeting (that means no email, no writing, no chatting with your neighbor). Allowing for more open collaboration and conversation might even make the meeting go by faster…it’s worth a try!
Make sure to set these goals before your next meeting and see what happens. Good luck!
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