Several annoying people probably come to mind, but are you sure you aren’t one of them?
Have you ever been in a meeting where someone was doing something so annoying that you just can’t focus on what’s being said? Their behavior is distracting, rude, unprofessional, and yes, very annoying. Etiquette seems to have passed these people by. But where are the written rules? Does your office have a set of rules for behavior in meetings, or are there just a set of unspoken rules that are implied that people are just supposed to know due to common sense?
The problem is that common sense often fails us. Maybe if there were increased levels of awareness surrounding these types of behaviors, there would be fewer people doing these annoying things in meetings and productivity will rise?
I’m going to identify seven of these behaviors today, but I am certain that I will not come close to touching on all of them. That’s where you come in. Please fill in the gaps in the comment section and help me identify the ones I may have missed.
Let’s go ahead and get started.
If you’re hungry during a meeting by all means take a minute to have a few bites of food to tide you over. Feel free to bring your Starbucks in too. However, I have worked with people that literally bring food into every meeting. Is that really necessary? If you do need a snack consider eating something that can be consumed without making a mess or causing a distraction.
I once worked with a guy that used to eat apples in meetings. The loud crunching noise with every single bite was so obnoxious that it would cause me lose focus. An apple a day may keep the doctor away. However, bring one into a meeting, and it might cause your co-workers to wish you were at the doctors office instead of in a meeting with them.
Everyone gets messages that they need to respond to right away. However, this should not happen twenty times during a meeting. Keeping your head buried in a phone the entire time is rude. However, the ultimate low, I once looked over at a colleague during a meeting to see them on Facebook on their phone. Really?
The Late Arriver
There is no worse way to waste everyone’s time than to show up late. This forces the others to virtually start the meeting over or be twirling their thumbs until you arrive. Nothing screams, “I’m unorganized, can’t manage my time, and inconsiderate to my colleagues,” like showing up late. Show up late to a meeting holding a Starbucks, and it could get you fired. A co-worker did this once and was fired directly after the meeting. The excuse, “but the line was really long.” It was the straw the broke the camel’s back.
Didn’t prepare for the meeting? Better hope you can fake it! However, rely on faking it too many times and you will be exposed. Not contributing to meetings will get you fewer invites and a tarnished reputation.
The Negative Nancy
Skepticism can be a great quality to have and it can prevent bad ideas from being implemented. However, it seems that certain people within a company come to meetings just to shoot other people’s ideas down. It wasn’t their idea so it couldn’t possibly be a good one.
The interrupter never lets anyone finish a thought without interjecting their opinion. They cut people off mid-sentence and talk out of turn. They feel it necessary to share every opinion whether it is the appropriate time to do so or not.
Your body language in a meeting is important. Bad body language gives people the impression that you just don’t care. The slacker is often slumped over in their chair. They don’t make eye contact and look like they are on the verge of falling asleep.
This person rambles on in meetings. Their rants lack a point or relevant contribution. They continue to talk in hopes that if they talk long enough they will eventually form a rational thought.
Ok, now I will turn it over to you…
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