Those who can count, and those who cant.
Well, ok I admit, there are a lot more types of people in this world. But I’m kind of estimating that all of us, sometime in our lives, have been to a meeting/seminar. I’m privileged to attend client meetings these days, and I have come across some peculiar behaviors that instantly register as goofy or elegant.
(You sure as hell know I’m not gona talk about anything very positive; graceful behaviors belong to all those self-help books that I recoil from!) Encouraged by your responses on my earlier post on un-taught teachings, I’m gona share some silly things that people do (yes, even the educated, sophisticated ones) that make us squirm.
(By the way, here's an addition to the teaching nobody taught post - Don't smear your head with some stinky, fetid chameli ka tel. The hair oil reeks and makes life hell for others...)
Without further ado, here is the list of don’ts in meetings (unfortunately, not exhaustive or all-inclusive):
Talking on cell-phones during meetings. Or worse people letting their cell-phone vibrate for ages without bothering to either switch it off or letting it sit silent without disturbing the rest with its earth-shattering rumble.
Playing with the hair, especially women. Or pens and bags and files. Whoever stopped you from faking your interest and total involvement?!!
Biting nails. Now that doesn’t need any explanation. It’s juvenile and it’s ridiculous. And certainly not the best thing to do if you want to come across as professional and disciplined.
Dressing too casually. Better overdressed than under. Dressing well always creates a good impression and makes you look well-groomed and focused. It also shows you mean business and are not out for a picnic or party. I know some companies don’t follow dress codes, but if it’s a meeting, you better be well dressed as you never know who might join or supervise!
Changing poses too often on the chair, or leaning back in a semi-horizontal fashion, or doing anything that makes the chair squeak. A colleague of mine keeps falling over the chair as he keeps moving his hands and legs one way or the other. He dresses impeccably, but the charm is lost thanks to these monkey tricks. (The latest is, he's screwed his high-backed chair by stretching it a tad too much too often...)
Sipping tea/coffee loudly. You’re not here to express how much you love your cuppa. If you’re the prime speaker, forget about the chai-pani and complete your assignment. If you’re the audience, don’t down the cup in a gulp, but don’t waste hours on it either. You can sip at appropriate intervals, silently and gracefully.
Not saying anything. You’re not invited to be a dumb duck! Say something relevant at the appropriate time. Don’t just agree with the boss and don’t just play the devil’s advocate. Be an eager listener and an enthusiastic audience even if it means just nodding your head and murmuring “yes/of course/true/that’s right” at calculated occasions.
On the same note, making a point that is extremely silly just for the sake of saying something is not a good idea. Try to understand what’s happening and observe where the meeting is going. Keep mum until such time when you feel a part of the group and believe you are on the same page. Then voice your observations and question gaps that are clearly not elucidated.
Dragging on. Know beforehand what you need to say, how much you need to explain, and how long. Be prepared to face a dull audience, and make sure you’re informed about the topic at hand. Most importantly, keep it simple (the KISS principle never fails!). On the same note, don't sound monotonous. Modulate your voice and speak enthusiastically. If the topic doesn’t excite you, it won’t interest anyone else either.
Well, guess I should wind up there. Too much broth spoils the cook.