We all know it can really stink to go to a billion meetings in one day, and if you’re anything like me then by that final meeting you are sooooo done with the day. You want to get in and out only talking about the most important facts that are absolutely necessary to the closer of this meeting. Maybe you even start to slump in your chair, roll your eyes, sigh a little bit or a lot, your answers to questions start to get short or you don’t even provide insight at all. All of these are symptoms of poor discipline. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling you out and saying what a bad person you are for doing this. I’m pretty sure it’s accurate to say that everyone does this, including me. I need to write this as much as you need to read this.
I go to a lot of meetings and I interact with a lot of different people. It’s important to realize that the reason you are in that meeting. Your peers want your input! You aren’t just there by chance. In those meetings you probably also have some person who has more experience than you and if they see you with a good attitude then you are that much more likely to have them recommend you for a job or for a better position within whatever group you are involved in. Granted I’m writing this from the perspective of a college student and all I’m involved in right now is around 15 or so groups in my college so my scope isn’t that great. I do firmly believe that it is still important to remember this when you get to a place where you have a job, it may even be more important that you remember it then.
The only reason I even thought about this topic is because it has become a prevalent talking point in my leadership team at my current job. We start each meeting off with what it means to be an active listener and how important it is to be able to communicate what you think in a concise way, because what you have to say is just as important as what the “leader” of the group has to say. It’s important to always lean forward in your chair and make eye contact with the speaker. Let them know that you hear what they are saying and that you understand, and if you don’t understand then ask questions so that you can understand. It is so important that everyone in a group be on the same page because otherwise you will not be able to complete any of the goals you have set to their full capacity.
All these things can be very hard to do, and what it really comes down to is what kind of discipline you possess. On those days where all you want to do is take a nap, or scream because no one can stay on topic you have to pull from that discipline, put a smile on your face, give your input on that event your team is setting up, then go home and complain to your significant other about it. Don’t let people know that you’re having a bad day because that might transfer into them having a bad day too.