conference tables

Running late is the number one bug bear of colleagues at conference tables.

Like it or not, the majority of us have to spend around one third of our waking lives in our workplace, and with a group of people we probably wouldn’t have picked to spend all that time with. This means rubbing along with people who may or may not be well matched to our personality, and dealing with all the problems that can bring.

Everyone has bad workplace habits; fact. Recognising what we may be doing around the conference tables, meeting room tables or in the office that is driving everyone mad is a good step towards forging better relationships with our colleagues. Ask yourself if you’re guilty of any of these:

  • Being late: Rocking up to the conference tables late is not only disruptive, it’s disrespectful to your colleagues. They’ve managed to arrive on time, the meeting organiser is waiting for you, why should they put up with you being late?
  • Eating smelly food: Do you really need to bring that stinky food to work? And if you do, do you have to eat it in the meeting room or at your desk? Some of the most hated workplace foods include fish, eggs, sprouts, onions, garlic and stinky cheese. If you must eat them, head outside or into the staff room.
  • Going sick when you’re actually fine: Work needs to be done, and when you decide to have a ‘duvet day’, it’s your colleagues who have to pick up the slack. You won’t be getting any promotion or pay rise if you’re only in work 90 per cent of the time, so make sure you show up unless you really are ill.
  • Playing 20 questions: When you’re trying to have a productive meeting, having someone asking thousands of questions can slow the process and make it a highly frustrating experience. There are no stupid questions, that’s true, but spouting off question after question just to hear the sound of your own voice is only going to make everyone hate you.
  • Being distracted: It’s difficult to focus on two things at once, which is why driving and texting has been banned. If you’re at the meeting tables and are busy sending emails or surfing the web, everyone knows your mind isn’t really on the job. You may be present, but your mind is elsewhere, and that’s just plain rude.
  • Interrupting other people: Participation is good, so it’s always good to speak up in meetings. However, if you’re talking over someone else, that’s not so good. Wait for the right moment to speak, or catch the attention of the chairperson to signal you’d like to talk next.
  • Poor hygiene: Your personal appearance and hygiene speak volumes about how you feel about your job. Dirty clothing, scruffy hair and bad smells all scream that you really don’t care about your job, and can be very unpleasant for your colleagues to deal with.
  • Nervous habits: It can be hard to recognise when you’re indulging a nervous habit, but trust us, your colleagues will notice every time. Jiggling your leg, jingling your keys, tapping your pen… not only do these things distract and irritate your colleagues, they can also signal boredom, which is not the impression you want to give.

Having a great meeting or conference requires that everyone pulls their weight. Realising what your bad habits around the conference tables might be, and taking steps to tackle them, can make you much more popular with your colleagues, and can make your meetings more productive too.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 24, 2018 at 9:03 am

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