Being a younger person in the workplace can be a confusing experience, especially if you don’t have help to guide you through it. There are so many things to learn, but let’s focus on the ropes of the boardroom.
Many different factors will determine how many of these tips you can personally apply, (i.e. industry, office culture, or years of experience) nevertheless, here are some essential tips for “meeting etiquette”.
Be on time – Meaning, show up 5-10 minutes early. To quote Dr. Lee from Drumline, “You’re late if you’re on time”. You want to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light possible, and strolling in at ____ o’clock on the dot for a meeting certainly won’t help with that. Arriving earlier shows that you are responsible, and take everyone’s time, and the work, seriously.
Stay off your phone – Other than being punctual, this may be the most important one, for a few reasons. Most of us can admit that it’s difficult to stay “disconnected” for too long, but we have to resist the urge for at least an hour. Being on your phone while someone is presenting or talking in a meeting comes off as if you are uninterested in what is going on. To be blunt, (unless advised) it’s rude. If you can help it, leave your phone face down on the table (and on DND) to help minimize your urgency to check your device. Also, if you know you won’t actually need it to contribute to the meeting, then leave it at your desk.
Prepare your thoughts – aka, make an agenda. If you have to contribute in a meeting, being as prepared as possible never hurts. When I have status meetings with my manager, I always write down the things I’d like to cover before we begin. It is a great way be efficient with your meeting time, and if you don’t get to them all, you can cover them later. Doing this also helps you stay on track with your thoughts and demonstrates organization.
Take notes – If you’re a “let me write that down” type of person, then this right up your alley. Sometimes, only taking in information audibly may not be as sufficient as writing. This is a great skill to use if you need to follow up on anything discussed, or debrief someone who could not attend (yay, teamwork!). Lastly, if you find it hard to stay still, this could help tackle any jitters that may arise.
Create an “Action Item” list – In a team or a planning meeting, this tip is very helpful. When taking notes, I’ll always make a few lines of space in which I write down all of the things I have to do after the meeting. This ensures that you are contributing, and your work does not slip through the cracks.
As mentioned before, these suggestions will vary, but we encourage all of our readers to try them out! These tips are a great way to put your best foot forward and conquer the corporate world.