14 things highly successful people never do in meetings - Deepstash

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1) Fail to prepare

1) Fail to prepare

Regardless of how unimportant you deem the meeting, never show up flustered and unprepared.

If you’re the one calling the meeting, set an agenda and formulate some talking points in advance.

Highly successfull people are never caught off-guard.  


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2) Forget to double-check the equipment

2) Forget to double-check the equipment

With more meetings taking place online, remember to test-run any equipment you may need ahead of time.

Technical glitches happen, but it’s crucial to do everything you can to prevent them.

If the meeting is online, make sure your software, camera, and microphone work before joining in.

When you have to hold a presentation, confirm that your laptop has enough battery, your slides are flawless, and the projector is fully functional.


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3) Dress inappropriately

3) Dress inappropriately

While the rules are more relaxed when it comes to online meetings, looking rumpled and messy won’t do you any good.  

Highly successful people are always put-together.  

Again, it’s a matter of respect. 

A professional outfit shows that you value the time of the other participants and that you’re willing to make an effort (even if you’re not physically in the room).


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4) Show up late

4) Show up late

Speaking of respect, being late to a meeting is a big no-no.

Otherwise, you risk coming across as someone with poor time management and crappy manners.

Additionally, you’ll interrupt the flow of the proceedings and may miss out on important points.

Pro tip: whenever you add a meeting to your calendar, set a reminder for 15 or 20 minutes before.


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5) Waste time

5) Waste time

Meetings aren’t an excuse to gossip with your co-workers, ask everyone how their pets are doing, or dissect the latest blockbuster movie taking the country by storm.

While a couple of minutes of banter as the meeting kicks off can relax the atmosphere, once you get into the thick of things, all conversations should be strictly on topic.

If you want to discuss something unrelated with your manager or a colleague, ask for a couple of minutes of their time after the meeting wraps up.


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6) Zone out

6) Zone out

Speaking of wasting time, make sure you don’t waste yours, either.

Zoning out during a meeting can make you miss out on critical information being shared with the group. 

Also, it’s kind of rude.

This tip applies to online meetings in particular, given that it’s considerably easier to get distracted when you attend from home.


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7) Scroll on their phone

7) Scroll on their phone

It’s tempting, especially if you always reach for your phone when your mind wanders.

However, mindlessly scrolling during a meeting is a clear sign that you’re disengaged.

The emails and social media updates will still be there when the meeting is over.

Instead, give your colleagues and managers your full, undivided attention, even when the topic at hand isn’t all that interesting.


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8) Don’t take notes

8) Don’t take notes

If you work for a big company, there’s a good chance someone is already in charge of taking notes and sharing them with the group.

That said, taking your own notes during a meeting still comes with benefits:

  • It helps you recall the topics shared with more ease
  • You can jot down information others might have missed
  • It keeps your hands occupied and your mind focused
  • You have a clear list of key points and action items you need to address
  • It makes others feel heard
  • You can share them with co-workers who couldn’t be there


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9) Say nothing

When it comes to meetings, highly successful people know that being an active participant is a must.

Asking questins and speaking up when the topic concerns you, however, should definitely be on your to-do list.


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10) Monopolize the conversation

10) Monopolize the conversation

Group meetings aren’t your time to shine.

Even if you’re holding the meeting yourself or sharing a presentation, it’s important to let others chime in as well.

This shows that you are a team player and that you value others’ input.

These two traits will only help you become more successful in the long run.


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11) Get confrontational

11) Get confrontational

On the same note, a professional meeting isn’t a good time to get into a colleague’s face or put them on the spot.

Getting confrontational in the middle of a meeting will disrupt the proceedings and may even cause the session to run long.

While workplace conflict is often unavoidable, there’s a time and place for everything.


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12) Slouch

If your goal is to emulate a highly successful person, it’s time to play the part.

As superficial as it may sound, appearances matter.

Slouching in your chair makes you look weak and disinterested. Good posture, in contrast, enables you to make a powerful impression. 

Similarly, avoid doing any of these:

  • Yawning
  • Biting your nails
  • Chewing gum
  • Keeping your arms crossed in a defensive stance
  • Playing with your hair
  • Rolling your eyes


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13) Skip the recap

13) Skip the recap

As the meeting wraps up, take a moment to quickly go through everything that has been discussed.

This way, you keep others accountable, and you have a better chance of committing the talking points to memory.

Furthermore, it gives attendees the impression that the meeting was productive, even if that might not have 100% been the case.

It’s a win-win.


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14) Neglect to follow up

14) Neglect to follow up

With the meeting in the rearview mirror, now what?

I’ll let you in on a little secret: highly successful people follow up.

If you were in charge of the meeting, send the attendees an email thanking them for their time and reinforcing key decisions.

If your team took on a new project, email to ensure that everyone knows what they have to do.


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Meetings may be a necessary evil, but they’re also an opportunity to showcase your drive and professionalism. As long as you avoid the mistakes above, you’ll be able to dazzle your co-workers and supervisors with how well-prepared you are.

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