Thursday, 5 February 2015

Most Annoying Meeting Habits

Attending a meeting, in many ways, is like ripping off a plaster: you want it to be over as quickly as possible because the longer it drags on, the more painful it gets. Many of us dread meetings not because what’s being discussed is boring (although it might be) and if the appointment happens after lunch it could induce a heavy sleep like state...But ultimately, it’s having to endure the annoying habits of other people that really set us off.

Here is a list of some of the most irritating meeting habits. Be warned: this might cause severe cringing and noises of frustration. And if any of these are you, consider this a wake-up call!

A weak handshake
The limp weight, the sweaty palm, the feeble grasp….why?! It’s enough to drive anyone crazy. It makes the owner of that poor excuse for a hand look weak – not the impression you want to give off in a business meeting, especially when greeting someone for the first time.

(Bonus annoyance points if the person doesn’t make eye contact with you as they shake your hand.)

Late arrivals
There always seems to be at least one straggler, doesn't there? They rush in with stories of delayed trains or miserable weather or the lengthy queue at Pret. Whether it’s actually their fault or not, late arrivals disrespect the other attendees who made the effort to show up on time.
(Bonus annoyance points if they are also unprepared and spend five minutes asking around to see if anyone has a spare pen.)

Chances are you’ve come across these offenders in some meeting or another: the Pen Tapper, the Leg Jiggler, the Nail Biter, the Gum Smacker, the Knuckle Cracker, (dare I even mention it?) the Nose Picker, Boy that really is the creme de la creme don't you think? I was horrified when I looked across in the middle of a meeting to see a fellow collegue doing just that. Suffice to say I can't really look him in the eyes now!

Now, in fairness, sometimes we do these little things without really realising it. But everyone should be hyperaware of their behaviour in a meeting – it’s embarrassing for everyone involved if someone has to ask you to stop.

(Bonus annoyance points if they start doing it again.)

According to a survey conducted by Pitney Bowes, checking your phone in a meeting is considered rude by nearly half of all 1,000 respondents. Not only is this inconsiderate to your colleagues, but it could be a turn-off to potential clients. So the next time you find yourself itching to refresh your inbox, don’t. Leave your phone in your pocket until the meeting’s finished.

(Bonus annoyance points if someone’s phone buzzes. Points quadruple if the buzzing is insistent.)

Virtual annoyances
As more and more of our meetings happen online nowadays, virtual meetings present a fresh new set of pet peeves. There’s always someone on a conference call who forgets to mute so everyone can hear phones ringing, the babble of background conversations and the horrific amplification of a cough/sneeze/throat clearing. On the flipside of this, there’s always someone who forgets to unmute, leaving those awkward moments of silence where you wonder if they've nodded off. 

And nothing can illicit irritation like the snide grin of someone reading a private message during a video conference, or constantly glancing at something outside the frame of the webcam.  
(Bonus annoyance points if the person sharing their screen has forgotten to close all their open tabs, so you get to enjoy a few uncomfortable moments of them frantically closing Buzzfeed, Facebook, the Daily Mail, etc.)  

Disclaimer: Collaborative Post

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