10 Rules to Observe During Office Meetings
We started our blog in an effort to bring you updates and insights on key areas in various industries that we service. Today’s blog post is nothing like any of those, but maybe the most important we’ve written to date. Today, we bring to you the unwritten rules of office meeting etiquette. Read, share and observe. #TeamDiplomat
- Be on time
If you walk in late be prepared for side-eyes, snickers and the worst seat in the meeting (on the floor or next to the presenter).
- Don’t leave early
There are very few reasons to leave a meeting early- you have another, more important meeting, court or an *emergency. Unless your exit is prompted by one of those reasons, sit down and enjoy the ride.
*See rule 10 for an example of an emergency
- Pay attention
You absolutely positively must listen to the words coming out of the mouth of the person conducting the meeting. Especially if there will be a quiz, test, or some required showing that you were actually present (physically, mentally and emotionally). The last thing the person conducting the meeting wants to do, who by the way probably loathes this meeting just as much as you if not more, is repeat everything he/she just said because you were engrossed in a wicked game of Clash of Titans.
- There is a such a thing as a stupid question
All your life you’ve been told, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” Now that you’re in the real world, we believe it’s time to tell you the truth. There is such a thing as a stupid question. Examples:
- Duplicative questions
- Personal questions asked in a group setting
- Questions that you know cannot be answered by the person the question was posed to.
- Don’t fall asleep
You’d like to assume that everyone at your place of employment is a “mature” adult who won’t take advantage of your temporary bout with insomnia (the result of one drink too many during happy hour the night before or your decision to binge watch Game of Thrones) as an opportunity to humiliate you in front of your co-workers. But you’d probably be wrong. Do not, we repeat, do not fall asleep during a meeting. You will regret it as soon you wake up, wipe the drool from your face, notice the collection of spitballs on your lap and realize your boss is staring at you.
- Dress up and sit down for Skype
Tele-conferencing is one of the greatest technological advancements in corporate America, giving companies the ability to meet without the added expense of travel. However, with great technology comes great responsibility. Whether you’re tele-conferencing from the comforts of your home office or the company conference room, dress in business attire, at least the portion of you that can be seen. The last thing you want that prospective client to see is you in your shorts, pajamas, or nothing at all.
- Don’t eat during meetings
Unless it’s a lunch meeting, you have health issues, or it’s expressly allowed, don’t eat during meetings. No one wants to smell your salmon, your homemade smoothie that vaguely resembles vomit, or watch you engulf a footlong and pick green stuff from your teeth the entire time.
- Don’t Live Tweet Your Meeting
The urge to live-tweet your meeting is strong; so strong that many of you simply can’t resist. However, we caution you against detailing every mundane action during the meeting or commenting about how much you hate meetings, especially if your company or client has social media and knows how to use it.
- Shut your face unless it’s absolutely necessary for you to unshut it.
Unless the person facilitating the meeting is a sadist and this is his preferred form of torture, it’s likely he doesn’t want to be there either. The meeting facilitator is going to let the meeting be as long as it absolutely needs to be so don’t make it longer. Once you open your mouth and out comes unnecessary questions, commentary, or hypotheticals not likely to occur in this dimension or matter to anyone other than you, you become the sole reason the 15 minute meeting lasts for an hour. Don’t be that guy or gal.
- Don’t pass gas
Most meeting spaces aren’t very big. As such, it behooves you, and all concerned parties, not to let one rip during the meeting. If you must, meaning you have an inability to clench your cheeks and prevent that rancid gas from escaping, leave. This would qualify as an emergency, referenced in rule #2, so feel free to step outside.
We hope this list has been helpful to you and that you pass it on to someone you know who may also benefit from this list of Do Not’s for office meetings. No one likes meetings, unless checks are being signed, not even the people who schedule them and pretend that they like them. Meetings are born out of necessity, so suck it up and be a grown up. On a serious note, Diplomatic Enterprises, LLC prides itself on providing effective, results-driven service to all of our clients and partners. If you’re interested in working with us, schedule a consultation today and we promise not to break any of our own rules. #TeamDiplomat