If you work for a company or for yourself…you are in the business of attending meetings. They run the gamut from being highly engaging to being highly annoying. It depends on the agenda and who’s leading the meeting. I go to a lot of meetings for work and recently, I’ve been going to a lot of after work meetings. This past weekend, I attended a meeting with my Mother-in-Law, which was designed to be a women’s roundtable regarding the community and Harlem in general. The women who filled the room seemed to have decades of experience and I watched them lay down the law on how to mind your meeting manners.
1. Choose your seat wisely.
As I said in a post about not being a “Third Row Chick”, finding the right spot in a meeting is key. Arrive early and reap the benefit of getting acclimated before everyone else. The women who wanted to ensure that they were heard were up front and center.
2. Ask a question when it’s time to ask a question.
I can’t tell you the amount of eyeballs that rolled around the room every time someone stood up to ask a question and they did not. What they did provide was several statements, opinions and fond memories of days past when the world was a better place. That’s not appropriate and actually, a little rude.
3. Don’t mumble or criticize the person who’s speaking.
My Mother-in-Law had to pinch me on my shoulder a couple of times because I kept having visceral reactions to some of the comments that came out in the room. She must have shushed me a good half-dozen times. I’m a work in progress on this one.
4. Don’t stay out of the room too long.
To get the most out of a meeting; you have to be in the room. This is especially true if you hold some knowledge/information that could help the person who’s leading the meeting, if you are representing a division/department and expected to report back to the team or if your supervisor/rating officer is in the room and may deem that your light presence as slacking off.
5. Don’t forget to contribute!
Sistah girls do not miss the opportunity to contribute a new idea or a new solution. You don’t have to speak up all the time but when you do, be sure that you focus on the three Cs. You must be clear, concise and confident in order to be heard and remembered.
Are you minding your meeting manners or know someone who should be?
Stay Fly, Stay Fabulous and Rock On!
LA Drye is a workstyle specialist with a passion for all things related to Sistah Girls in the workplace. When not ranting and raving here, she can be found on Twitter @ladrye or on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/washndrye