The meeting participants play an important role in a meeting. They are the intended recipient of the message or information and the ones responsible for the meeting discussion. Without them, a meeting is not possible. Although we may think that the bulk of the job in making effective meetings is on the facilitator or the manager, the participants also portray an essential role.
Because of their importance in a meeting, team members must cooperate to achieve the meeting goals and fulfill the purpose of the meeting. In what ways can they show their support and assistance toward the manager or the facilitator during meetings?
Responsibility in Attending Meetings
Many members think that because team meetings are becoming habitual and regular, it is perfectly fine to skip a few meetings. This is a very irresponsible thing to do. Meetings are not special rituals; these sessions are equivalent to work or tasks. The difference is just that this work requires an instant and open interaction among colleagues. So, not showing up during meetings is also equivalent to work avoidance which is a serious offense in some companies.
Unavoidable instances may happen that would really keep you from attending the meeting. Some fail to attend because there are other important works that should not be left undone and so would excuse themselves from the meeting which is perfectly understandable.
A responsible team member is a professional in all work aspects. So, if for some reasons, you are not able to make it on the meeting, make sure to respond to the meeting request and decline professionally. At least, you will not make the meeting in-charge wait in vain for you the whole time.
A team member who is given a role in the meeting must assume responsibility. If you are assigned a topic to discuss, prepare for it by checking on your resources. Make a list of the possible questions that the other members might ask and have ready answers for them. Outline the things you will talk about during the meeting. You are not just showing readiness but you are actually helping out in sticking to the discussion timeframe.
Never go to meetings without any pen and a journal or any writing material. It is like coming to the battle unarmed. You would not want to miss any important points in the meeting. Apart from that, you are giving your manager an impression that you come prepared for the meeting.
Show Participation during Discussion
You do not want to be tagged as a passive member, do you? So, actively participate during brainstorming sessions and discussions. If you choose to stay silent, the facilitator might call your attention and you will be put in humiliation instead of wanting to go unnoticed by the team. In the first place, meetings are all about plain talks and verbal interaction.
Be willing to share your opinions to the rest of the team. It will definitely contribute to a quick decision making and resolution. If there is anything coming from your fellow team member that is not clear to you, always seek to clarify. Remember to participate with enthusiasm and in an open and honest manner of communicating.
Observe Meeting Etiquette and Ground Rules
Nothing much can be said about conducting oneself in a behavior that is socially acceptable and respectable to other individuals. Ground rules and proper meeting decorum are presented at the start of the team meeting to ensure a harmonious atmosphere during the course of the discussion. Because people are of different personalities, imposing meeting guidelines will keep the team members grounded, thus conflicts are prevented.
Being punctual in meetings is a basic etiquette and a latecomer with lame excuses is never impressive to the manager. Listening attentively is an important ground rule. Listen to the person talking as a good sign of respect and interest. Do not make side conversations or little chitchats as this is downright rude.
Avoid possible distractions especially mobile phones. If possible, keep it in silent mode. Never attempt to argue with another team member. If there is a need to, keep arguments healthy by knowing what words to use and how to deliver it in a way that will not sound offensive.
As a participant of a meeting, you as a member play a crucial role in the attainment of team goals and achievement of the meeting purpose. So, offer your cooperation to the team during meetings by following the tips above.