Do you occasionally feel like your boss or other colleagues are displeased with your behavior in meetings? The impatient questions directed your way, the sharp glances with eyebrows raised, the attempts to shut you out of the conversation?
If the answer is "yes," chances are, there are things you are doing--or not doing--in meetings that make you seem unprofessional, perhaps without your even knowing it. Here are 9 of the most common behaviors that can make us look unprofessional in meetings.
1. Being late
Routine tardiness shows an inability to respect other people's time, no matter how well intentioned you may be. Even if you're just five minutes late, people notice if it happens often. Get in the habit of arriving at meetings a few minutes early so your team isn't always waiting for you.
It's no secret that conceited people often talk the most and do the least. Employers and employees alike know that. Don't boast in meetings about accomplishing things before you have actually accomplished them. In fact, get out of the habit of boasting at all--you'll be more likable, and more professional.
While it's all right to let the occasional complaint slip out every now and then, nobody likes the person who constantly complains about every assignment they are given. We are get tired and hungry and frustrated, however, we don't have to always vocalize it.
4. Showing off
Asking questions is definitely a good way to get attention. Asking too many questions--just to show off your knowledge--looks really unprofessional. Tone down the questions, and you'll give off the impression that you have it much more together.
5. Looking sloppy
Although meetings can be informal, showing up to one looking like you just rolled out of bed is not appealing. In fact, showing up to work looking sloppy every day is not appealing, period.
6. Playing hooky
We all take a day or two off work when we need it--whether it be for emotional, illness, or personal reasons. Doing this often--and on days when you know there will be meetings at which you should be present--reflects poorly on you.
7. Playing with your phone or laptop
You should not text, play games, browse social media, or check sports scores while in a meeting. It shows an utter lack of respect for the time of everyone around you trying to make things run efficiently.
Waiting your turn to speak up is necessary to show that you are both paying attention and respectful of the opinions of others. Don't downplay the fact that you are able to do both.
No matter how casual your workplace can be, it's important not to bring that culture to a space where people are working to be as professional as possible. Save the curse words for after you clock out for the day.