"I jump at opportunities to be around clients, outsiders, and higher-ups, no matter my level of interest in the proposed subject matter."
From time to time, I attend lunch meetings in the office (often these are mandatory), but sometimes I go voluntarily.
Free Convenient food
· Face-time with higher-ups
· Learn about new projects or upcoming events
· Takes time away from the work I should be doing
· Can be boring
I jump at opportunities to be around clients, outsiders, and higher-ups, no matter my level of interest in the proposed subject matter. I'm in a learning phase of my career. At times, I’ve come away with valuable and relevant knowledge from these events. Meeting attendance is crucial to remain visible and relevant in the office, extra points for asking a question or speaking.
One thing I've noticed a lot over the years is poor meeting etiquette from people of every level. In these corporate professions, showing up late or rushing out early is par for the course. Here are a few tips to be a more effective attendee:
1. If food is being served, arrive 5 minutes early to grab food and a chair before people start talking.
2. Set a limit for how many times during a meeting you will check your phone. Mine is typically zero. I check once before and once after. I know as I become more senior this may change, but I find it embarrassingly rude if there’s no emergency.
3. Engage the speaker. Look up or even occasionally take notes. Public speaking is hard enough.
4. If you must leave early, sit as close to the door and as far from the speaker as possible so as to minimize distraction. If the speaker is near the door, then choose a seat that will let you get in and out without having to pass in front of the speaker.
5. Just say No. If you have to leave 10-15 minutes in to an hour long meeting, you probably shouldn’t attend. It's a waste of your time and disruptive to others. Instead, touch base with the speaker afterwards to talk about the meeting and get updates.
A great meeting attendee would arrive early with a pen and pad ready, eat quietly and quickly, engage the speaker and ask questions, never check her phone, and stay patiently until the conclusion. I’m not always this person, but that’s what goals are for.
What’s your take on meetings?