Work Tips: Putting Others at Ease in Meetings: Respect

Meetings are unavoidable. Even during lockdown, meeting rooms simply mutated into video conference calls, which had their own set of challenges and irritations. 

So, since it’s clear we’ll never escape them, it’s a very smart move to learn how to conduct yourself properly in a meeting – because the last thing you want to do is make the meeting worse, right?

#3 – Show Respect

Now, in fairness, you probably do have better things to do with your time – Doodle’s third biggest Meeting Irritation was “people who talk about nothing for long periods of time” – but if you have any sense, you’ll do everything in your power to pretend your customer/client/manager’s long-winded anecdotes are the most fascinating thing you’ve ever hea-

Oh, the second biggest irritation? Interrupting people. 50% of respondents said that people who interrupt others are the worst culprits for sending their blood pressure sky-rocketing. Show respect for everybody in the room by keeping your thoughts to yourself until the speaker has finished and opened the floor to questions. If you have pressing concerns, write them down, and raise at the end of the meeting – the speaker has probably considered these angles already, and might be planning to address them. Cutting somebody off before they’ve finished speaking is extremely arrogant, and if you do it to the wrong person, you might earn yourself an embarrassing verbal smackdown.

Now, this verbal smackdown might be unwarranted – after all, a lot of managers are taught to pause for effect, letting crucial points hang in the air for a moment or two to let the wisdom sink in. A good rule of thumb to avoid awkwardness – count three seconds of silence before you speak. If you do accidentally interrupt someone (either out of habit, or because you’re working for a sociopath who leaves 4 second pauses in the middle of their sentences) simply say: “Oh, I’m sorry – please go on,” and you should be fine.

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