A: You need to confront this behaviour and try to find out WHY someone appears to be trying to sabotage the meeting – they might not be aware that this is the effect of their behaviour. If this doesn’t work, you may need to ask the saboteur to leave or suspend the meeting and reconvene […]
A: It is good practice in larger meetings (say, more than 10 attendees) to nominate a person to keep watch for people going off-topic – in smaller meetings this would be part of the chair’s role. Usually you can get people back on topic by gently reminding the meeting of the point of the discussion […]
A: It depends why this is happening. Are they unprepared because they haven’t been briefed, or the joining instructions were inadequate, or they’re too busy on other matters? Finding the reason for the unpreparedness will generally lead you towards a solution.
A: This is a problem that is often easier to solve in virtual meetings, as then it is quite legitimate to ask people to speak more clearly and/or adjust their microphone. In face-to-face meetings, you should be tactful in raising this, and you could explain that you have a problem hearing them – so you […]
A: The main thing is to avoid this problem arising. If you have a cross-cultural meeting coming up, it is best to brief all the participants in advance as to how the meeting will be conducted and highlight any particular points of etiquette that need to be followed. These could also be reiterated at the […]
A: As with a minor breach of etiquette, the first point is to acknowledge the breach. Then it depends how upset everyone is – in the worst case you may have to suspend the meeting and reconvene later when people feel able to work together again. How you recover will depend on your interpersonal skills […]
A: It’s usually not a good idea to ignore breaches of etiquette, however minor. But neither is it productive to blow a minor breach into a major issue. So recovering from a minor breach of etiquette first requires an acknowledgment of the breach and then relies on your interpersonal skills.
A: A few minutes before the scheduled start is usually best. Give yourself enough time so you are ready to start the meeting bang on time. If you spend a few minutes getting yourself organised at the start of the meeting, it’ll give the impression of being late, even if you arrived on time. Don’t […]
A: This depends on how well you know your colleagues and what their other commitments are. There’s no point getting too exercised about punctuality if the latecomers have valid reasons for being late. If you’re all part of a close-knit team, you should sort this out amicably – perhaps even humorously. Otherwise, you should remind […]
A: Obviously you need to apologise. You should try to call your colleague to find out what is going on and let the customer / supplier know why your colleague has failed to show up, If you can proceed with the meeting without your colleague, you should do so. But if you need to rearrange […]
A: In general, it’s best that you give people the opportunity to mute themselves first. In large video conferences, it’s a good idea to ask everyone to mute themselves except when it’s their turn to speak. It’s poor manners and rather unprofessional to mute someone without good reason (such as distracting feedback or background noises). […]
A: Unless you are in a setting with a formal hierarchy, you shouldn’t let others’ seniority restrain you. Try not to be intimidated and to carry out your role in the meeting as you would with colleagues of a similar grade to you. Of course, you don’t want to appear cocky or arrogant, you want […]