5 Essential Tips for Attending a Meeting
In the first installation of this two-part series, we discussed the many tips for running a successful meeting.
But meetings require participation on both ends, from the host to the attendee, therefore there are tips for success for going to a meeting as well. After all, the purpose of these events is typically to pass information from one party to the next and if you’re not prepared, you’re bound to miss out on something.
So before heading out to your one, read these quick tips to ensure you’re getting the most from attending a meeting.
Be prepared. When you get that meeting invite, typically in your inbox, read the actual email. If the host is doing their job well, they will outline the objective of the meeting so you know how to prepare accordingly. If you anticipate something is needed by you, be sure to get those things ahead of time. If possible, prepare your schedule as well. If this is going to be a heavy-duty meeting with a lot of information, you’ll want to cushion your hours leading up to and following the meeting in order to best absorb all of the new information you obtain.
Respect others’ time. Always be on time for meetings. If you’re sneaking in ten minutes after it starts, you’re bound to cause some interruption. The host of your meeting will appreciate your punctuality and your brain won’t feel so frenzied as it switches focus to what’s being discussed. Try not to rush from one meeting to the next, cutting off your presenter early in order to taskmaster to your next responsibility.
Take notes. Meetings often contain key information and tasks that you’ll want to remember in the future. You can either keep notes or record the meeting to refresh yourself, but always make sure recording is okay with the meeting’s host. Taking notes also keeps your mind focused on the information as it’s being presented instead of wandering to other things.
Ask questions. If you have a real question or feedback that would be valuable to the group or meeting’s host, be sure to share. Be cognizant of time and get to your point quickly without going down rabbit trails. If you don’t understand a specific portion of the meeting, always speak up. You’re only wasting your time if you don’t understand the bulk of what’s being discussed.
Follow up. You’re bound to have questions after a meeting or be tasked with some action items. When given specific responsibilities to carry out following the meeting, be sure to complete those things within the time frame requested by the meeting’s host. You don’t want to hold up the entire team. Follow through on any outstanding activities. If you uncover further questions, it might be ideal to set up a one-on-one meeting for clarification.
In short, before attending a meeting, be prepared. Come willing to participate and unafraid to ask the difficult questions. Having active attendees makes meetings run much more smoothly and effectively for everyone involved.