If we had a nickel for every meeting we’ve sat in that was completely unnecessary, we’d be rolling in dough. Unfortunately, meetings are an unavoidable part of corporate culture, whether you’re at a big or small outfit. Of course, we’ve all been invited to meetings with 20-plus people, no schedule, goals, or next steps and afterwards lamented the myriad ways in which we could have spent the last two hours more effectively. In fact, a recent survey by recruitment firm Robert Half International showed 28 per cent of meetings were viewed as unnecessary or unproductive and executives felt preparation time, meetings and follow-up represented a significant block of time they could better spend elsewhere.
When done correctly, meetings can be a great place to communicate your ideas and thoughts, brainstorm with others and raise important questions. You have a captive audience, a goal in mind, and a platform that lends itself to discussion. Some people, however, don’t know the right way to participate in meetings and, as a result, can derail the whole process.
Here are the four types of communicators we’ve witnessed in meetings time and time again (and wished we hadn’t):