No matter how hard you work, often you make the biggest impression during office staff meetings. There, surrounded by coworkers and supervisors, you have the opportunity to show your commitment to your employer. Unfortunately, you may find yourself speaking up at the expense of your relationships with coworkers.
As important as it is to build strong relationships with your superiors, you also need to be seen as a team player. If you alienate your coworkers, you could find that your business’s leadership sees you as a problem employee. Before you grab your notepad and head to the conference room for your next meeting, here are a few things to avoid which might offend your valued coworkers.
1. Hijacking the meeting
In your eagerness to show the boss your merits, you may unknowingly monopolize the meeting, speaking far too long about topics that don’t concern others in the room. Employees may also find you’re taking credit for their accomplishments and feel offended. Learn to watch for signs that you may be talking too much and moderate your behavior. You may realize that even your boss was exasperated by your tendency to veer too far away from the agenda.
2. Picking pointless arguments
While there’s nothing wrong with healthy debate, you could be seen as argumentative and difficult if you regularly engage in altercations during meetings. It may be tempting to correct an employee’s misstatement, but try to settle these disagreements privately. In a meeting environment, you’ll likely find your coworker immediately goes on the defense while being corrected in front of everyone else. If you find yourself constantly holding yourself back from correcting multiple coworkers, consider that you may be the problem.
When your boss asks for an update on a particular project, it may feel tempting to list all of your accomplishments. As a team player, though, a little humility goes a long way. Instead of putting all of the credit on yourself, acknowledge others on your team who have worked hard and deserve recognition for it. Your boss will likely be more impressed with your willingness to promote your team members instead of you giving a five-minute bragging session.
4. Checking mobile devices
We all know that mobile devices can increase productivity. However, one of the worst things you can do during a meeting is to check your smartphone. Not only is it disrespectful to the person speaking, but it serves as a distraction for everyone seated nearby. Overall, it’s considered extremely rude behavior. It shows you may not be completely focused on the task at hand, or not interested in what’s happening in the meeting. Before entering the meeting room, silence and pocket your phone. If you know the temptation to check it will be too strong to resist, leave it at your desk.
Even if you’re feeling frustrated, the worst place to voice those frustrations is in front of the entire team. This is especially true if you find yourself complaining on a regular basis. You could be seen as a detriment to morale, taking you out of consideration for promotions and raises. Try to find constructive ways to make improvements in the workplace rather than complaining about the way things currently are. When speaking to fellow employees, make an effort to say only those things you wouldn’t mind your boss overhearing.
6. Zoning out
It can be difficult to pay attention, especially during those meetings that seem to last far longer than necessary. Do your best to remain alert throughout the meeting, though. You may think your persistent yawns and glassy eyes go unnoticed, but supervisors and coworkers pay attention to those things, especially if you’re doing them while they’re speaking. Taking notes can be a way to keep yourself alert during long meetings.
Navigating staff meetings can be complicated, but by being aware of your own behavior, you can use them as an opportunity to impress your boss and bond with your coworkers. Over time, you’ll find you’re getting information from the staff meeting that you can put to use while taking care of your own daily duties.