The Secret to Making Sure You’re Never Caught Off Guard During a Meeting
To leave people with the best possible impression, you need to make sure that you’re prepared for every single meeting you have. No one will be perfect, but there are a few ways to prove to your boss that you’ll be an ideal team member for future meetings with big clients. Here are five ways that will make sure you won’t be caught off guard.
1. If you need to play catch up, get the meeting notes from the last one
Sometimes you’ll be asked to go to meetings in the place of someone else, or because you’re new on the team or to the subject. Either way, read through the notes before the meeting so that you’re caught up on everything you need to know. If anything’s unclear, make a phone call to the co-worker whose notes you’re using to clarify.
Take the notes with you to the meeting so that you know how to deal with being put on the spot – either actually check the notes or use it as an excuse to get your thoughts together. Either way, your co-workers and boss will be impressed with how productive meetings are with you and your notes in the.
2. Always be there five to ten minutes before start time
A busy project director, an HR manager or just generally many bosses will often casually discuss the topic of the entire meeting before the meeting even starts when people are still arriving. If you’re there for that, you’ll have more know-how than the person who arrives exactly on time. Plus, this will save you from being late – always a bad look. Use a scheduling feature if you have a habit of being late or forgetting meetings.
3. Leave time after the meeting to follow up or get some one-on-one time
After business meetings or team meetings, try to avoid having anything scheduled. This means that a) if the meeting needs to go later to create a more efficient environment, you won’t have to leave and b) you can build relationships with other employees and managers. It’s essentially an opportunity to network.
Managers can attend 60+ meetings per month
4. Take notes on key points
You don’t have to transcribe everything that’s said in the meeting, but if there’s anything you’ll need to remember or any key points, scribble them down. It can be tempting to doodle, especially in Friday afternoon meetings, but this can be a good way to eliminate the chaos at work the next day or after the weekend when you have to try and implement what was decided at the meeting.
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5. Avoid getting into bad habits by turning your phone off
It can be easy to check your phone during meetings but don’t forget that as long as you’re using wifi your boss has access to your browser history, so they can see if you’ve been scrolling facebook – even if you think you’re body language hasn’t given it away. Being distracted by phones is a common complaint, so don’t be that person! Even before the meeting, avoid being on your phone if you’re in view of the meeting room unless literally, nobody else has arrived yet.
Remember – the best outcome of a bad meeting is you making contacts and networking, so never waste an opportunity!
Regardless of what the meeting is for or who else is going to be there, it can be intimidating if you might have to be thinking on your feet. But if you’ve read the notes, listened to the pre-meeting chatter and turned off your phone, and then pay attention throughout the meeting by taking notes and staying after to clarify and network, attending meetings can be a great way to advance your career and get valuable career advice.