How to Behave Professionally in Office Meetings
Behavioural skills play a vital role in the workplace. How to behave professionally, acts and responds to others is very important. It is very crucial to take care of your gestures and keep a note of how you behave during office meetings because the expressions or body language, if not acted properly, can be very easily manipulated and judged by the other person, which at times can be wrong as well. So, how you behave at the workplace and especially during important office meetings, is very important and to be taken care of.
Following are some of the points that should be taken care of during the office meetings by everybody, irrespective of the position they are working on:
- Respect Time: Everybody during the meetings should respect the timings. This is a way to show your interest and also being punctual is a basic manner which everybody should possess not only at professional but personal end as well. In some organisations where meeting rooms are booked, or if the meeting participants have any other meeting planned after one, it is very important to wind up a meeting on time so that the other planned meetings can also be done as per the schedule. Moreover, stretched meetings can minimise the interest of the participants as well, so it is better to keep it on time, precisely and intact.
- Be respectful: All the participants should be respectful to each other during the meetings. Being respectful is a trait that everybody should follow at the workplace to be understanding and empathetic. No negative comments, personal taunts or unprofessional language should also be avoided during the meetings.
- Prepare the meeting agenda: A proper list of points to be discussed in the meetings should be prepared by all the participants for an intact and efficient conversation. The organisers should provide the agenda of the meeting beforehand to the participants so that everybody can prepare their points before coming for the meeting. Other supportive documents for the meeting discussions, like- reports or any reference documents, should be brought along for a fruitful discussion.
- Be Open for feedback: Everybody should be open for feedback during the meeting, where any open-ended discussions are going on, and if it is a presentation or seminar by a single speaker, then also he must be open to taking the feedback whether it is positive or negative so that it can help them to prepare better the next time. Feedback is considered to be valuable and would prove to be efficient and effective for preparing for the next time.
- Active Listening: Being an active listener is also important during the office meetings. Especially the meetings, where one person is delivering the ideas or content and others are listening, everybody needs to listen actively and show interest in the viewpoints or content the presenter is sharing. It would result in motivating the presenter to convey the ideas more efficiently when the audience is actively listening and contributing add-ons from their side to the ideas.
- Express Gratitude: Always express gratitude while closing the meeting, like- thanking the participants for their time and valuable inputs in the meeting, etc. This can be a way to appreciate their presence, which would encourage them for furthermore participation and share their point of view more actively as they feel a sense of respect and thankfulness.
- Take Notes: One should take notes of the points of discussion so that everything discussed can be then used for future reference. A document of minutes of the meeting can also be prepared afterwards and sent to all the participants so the discussed points or takeaways are shared with everybody, and further decision-making can be done accordingly.
Apart from following the points mentioned above during the meetings, there are some points which are to be avoided during the meetings:
- Unplanned discussions: Discussions that are unplanned or out of the topic should be avoided during the meetings. As mentioned above, meetings should be time-bound, and there should be a proper agenda for the meetings. So, any unplanned discussion in between can lead to stretched discussions, which would result in extending the timing of the meeting. Also, discussion of unplanned points won’t be fruitful as the participants are not aware and are not prepared to provide much input on those points.
- Behaving Casually: Work meetings should always be conducted professionally by keeping in mind the boundaries to avoid behaving casually. The way of conveying ideas, putting up your points or raising a query should be taken care of while one is attending office meetings. Sometimes, even if you have valid points of discussion, if the way to present them is not effective, those may not be taken seriously by the other participants.
- Misbehaviour with other participants: During the official meetings, one should avoid any misbehaviour with fellow participants of the meeting, like using any slang, passing on negative comments, targeting any one participant or making fun of others on any points, etc. Everyone in the meeting should find the aura supportive in such a way that they can put their idea or opinions in front of others during the discussion. Always use professional language during the work meetings or at the time of discussions.
- Negative Body Language: Body language also plays a vital role during the discussions, whether it is personal or professional. During office meetings, one should strictly take care of their hand movements, eye contact with the audience or fellow participants, sitting posture, etc. For example, Sitting with folded hands is a sign of being defensive and is not considered as welcoming the new ideas or viewpoints being discussed in the meeting; not sitting straight and lying down on the chair would show less attentiveness or no eye contact with the participants while speaking would show under-confidence, all these are the signs of negative body language.
- Distractions: Distractions should be avoided during work meetings, like- mobile phones should be on silent, avoid unnecessary calls, avoid working on anything else while the meeting is going on, etc. All such distractions may make the listeners or participants lose interest in the topic of discussion in the meeting. Also, getting distracted and indulging in something else rather than the meeting discussion shows a sign of disrespect towards the speaker.
All the mentioned points show meeting etiquette to be followed by the participants during the office meetings. There are a lot of things to be taken care of during the meetings, which may result in making the discussions more fruitful. The effectiveness and efficiency of meetings depend on the way the participants how to behave professionally in those, as meetings should be conducted by keeping in mind all the etiquette and avoiding all distractions.
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