Meetings & Etiquette

It was 12.30pm. I sat in the waiting room, cradling my second cup of awful machine coffee, trying not to allow the annoyance to surface. I rescheduled my next two upcoming appointments and cancelled one other. There was little choice. The client was God or would have you believe they were.

An hour after the scheduled meeting time, they trooped in nonchalantly, without an apology. The gait was one of self important cockiness. It was understood. They were VIBP – very important busy people and their time, attitude, schedule required complete and utter obeisance.

The PHONE!?! Can you please put the damn toy aside and listen to what people across the table are saying? And stop texting your work soul mates across the table. It’s kind of obvious and it’s terribly juvenile.

So what makes it acceptable to disregard everyone else’s time except your own? What makes it ok for meetings to go on endlessly and people to bang on about the same, repetitive point in various, infinite, innovative but completely unnecessary ways?

Work etiquette / work ethic is simply put a way of working in a way that is efficient, disciplined and cognisant of other people’s time. If you cannot manage your meetings in the time you have allotted in your calendar then you need to reconfigure your working style or else schedule only 3 meetings a day. Spare the others your badly mismanaged schedules.

Allot some time towards responding to the mails piling up in your mailbox. If you believe that responding to mails are beneath your dignity or you are one of those who are fearful of being judged for the quality of communication or lack thereof, please set up an auto response that informs all these ‘painful’ e-mailers that they should cease and desist this ‘painful’ activity and spare you … in time, they will get the message and you will be left alone to ruin some more precious time in a long winded, pointless meeting. Joke aside, you could learn time management. Keep a Bullet Journal. Prioritise. Respond and allow others to move ahead and execute.

Send out an agenda for meetings so everyone knows what they are coming in for. Make sure there is accountability. Everyone needs to do their homework prior to the meeting so that it ends up being constructive and not a faff session. Minutes of the meeting are not for the trash. They are meant to be used for the next follow up and to ensure people do their bit. Simple, really. Effective, very. Accomplishes, much. Done, rarely.

And if you don’t see the point of meetings, become a painter. Work in solitude and get your shit done. For those who luuurve meetings … get a life!






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