Worst ways to start a meeting

Get your meeting off on the wrong foot and you’ll lose the room fast. Here’s some openings to avoid…

Meetings can be useful and time well spent – if handled correctly. But in the wrong hands, they can be boring and a waste of time for all involved. To make sure you’re getting your meeting off on the right foot, avoid these cardinal sins at the beginning of your get together…

A Group of Business People Uninterested With Their Heads Down

Arriving late
Nothing will annoy your busy colleagues like turning up late. If you’ve scheduled a meeting for a set time, you’d better be there on time. In fact, even better is to turn up early so you can welcome everyone as they arrive.

Not being prepared
People will have taken time out of their busy day to come to your meeting, so you’d better be well-prepared. Every minute counts in business, so if you spend the first 10 minutes of a meeting searching for your presentation or trying to connect the computer to the large screen, then you’re going to lose the meeting.

With bad news
This one’s less about annoying people and more about group psychology. If you’ve got a few points to cover in a meeting, don’t start with the bad news and it’ll be all everyone will focus on for the rest of the time. Get the general chat and other points out of the way beforehand.

Cutting out the chit chat
The time before a meeting starts, and even the first few minutes of the schedule meeting, are a great time for colleagues to catch up with each other. It doesn’t matter if the talk is business or social, it’s a vital part of the day and by getting it out the way, it allows attendees to focus on the task at hand.

A Business Meeting with People who Have Their Heads in Their Hands

Avoiding the crux of the matter
You should only hold a meeting if you’ve got something important to say or discuss. By avoiding the elephant in the room, you’re just wasting every one’s time. A short period of chat and general business sis fine, but once these are over get down to the crux of the matter as soon as you can.

With a long speech
Meetings should be a two way street; an arena in which you discuss with your colleagues issues and problems you’re facing. Starting with a long speech that doesn’t allow any feedback or interaction will bore and annoy everyone else, who’ll be wondering why they are even there. If it’s just something you want to tell people, do it via email.

 

Posted by Ashleigh Sharp

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