When others don’t respect your meeting

When you’re at work for 8 to 10 hours, and you have anywhere from 5 to 8 meetings during the day, how on earth do you get any actual work done?

People multi-task during meetings. I’ve had people flat-out open their laptops and type away on something unrelated while in my meeting, while I was talking! Phones are buzzing and dinging, and people check their phones… and check out of the meeting.

What’s a meeting organizer to do?

Don’t schedule an hour as default, for one. Think about how much time you need people in the same room to make a decision, and schedule that. Thirty minutes max usually serves.

Better yet, you should all stand. Nothing signals “short meeting” as much as everyone coming together and making a decision quickly while standing.

The best thing is to let people know that they don’t need to bring their laptops or phones because you can all get through the meeting topic as efficiently, and they’ll get short notes on the decision and rationale afterwards for future reference. This is the nice way of telling them, “Don’t bring your distracting devices.”

The quicker you get what you need, the quicker they get back their own time.


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