Improve Your Meetings This Week With One Simple Trick

Posted June 30, 2013 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

Whether you’re in a meeting heavy corporate culture or your job requires you to have only a few meetings each week, meetings can be both a productive part of your job as a team member and frankly, a nuisance. While you always want to socialize and use the collective brain of a team to get things done faster, it’s usually more intuitive to stay at your desk and slog through alone. That’s why we’re bringing you a single tip to make your meetings leaps and bounds more productive and less boring/unnecessary this week. Ready for it? Here it is:

Stop Multitasking During Meetings!

You know what I’m talking about! It’s become acceptable to grab that Blackberry every time it buzzes, even if it’s in the middle of a presentation by a colleague or your boss. In cultures where laptops are used, this distraction gets even worse as individuals are checking everything from email to Facebook to their children’s school play schedule. And somewhere in the mix, a meeting of four or five individuals whose collective genius could inspire great change and movement for a company has become a meeting of four or five individuals who are using only a tenth of their brain power in the meeting and the others staring at proverbial “shiny things” on a screen.

OK, OK, I get it, but why is it so important? How about one of these three reasons?

  1. Add up the money in the room! Even if five lower level associates in your company have a meeting to discuss the kinds of plates and cups the company uses at gatherings, that meeting is costing the company money!
  2. Engaged meetings are shorter meetings. The more willing you are to click in and focus, the more quickly you’ll be able to head back to your desk and get to work.
  3. No one actually wants to be what you’re doing while you’re distracted. Returning emails during that time? Are you really putting thought and strategy into each email? No! You’re firing off a terse  yes or no answer and hoping it doesn’t sound terribly rude. Respect your colleagues by giving their emails more attention than just a distraction in a meeting.

Try it this week – leave the phone at your desk, put the doodling pen down, and look up at the individual who is running the meeting. Engage fully and things will change.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."