8 Behaviors for Effective Meetings

Meetings are a huge part of both sorority and work life. Not all meetings are created equal and some are more painful than others. Facilitators are in charge of keeping a meeting on task, but even if you are not in charge it does not mean that you can spend the hour liking photos on Instagram. Here are eight things you should always do as a participant to help make meetings effective:

  1. Show up on time. Everyone appreciates a meeting that starts and ends on time. You don't want to be the person responsible for holding up your sisters or colleagues.  
  2. Watch your nonverbal communication. We sometimes think that we can go unnoticed in a large group of people, but it is easier than you think to notice eye rolls, yawning or crossed arms and slouching.
  3. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself. If you walk into a meeting where you only know a few people in the room, the best thing you can do is spend a few quick minutes shaking hands and introducing yourself to those people you don't know. This shows you have both initiative and confidence. It also keeps your facilitator from having to spend a lot of time on introductions. 
  4. Let people know if you need to leave early. If you have another commitment and need to leave a meeting early, always let people know when you arrive that you will be taking off before the meeting ends. That way you can exit quietly without interrupting. 
  5. It's okay to laugh. Nothing cures a dull meeting like a bit of humor. Don't be afraid to let out a chuckle or two during a meeting when appropriate.
  6. Participate. Come prepared and be ready to share your ideas. Try not to drag on and do your best to avoid a tangent. Short and sweet, but complete is usually best.  
  7. Keep your phone off the table. In today's world everyone carries their phones everywhere. No one is going to turn off their phone. We know this. Instead, try to keep your phone in your pocket or in a bag. If you leave your phone on the table, that Snapchat notification is going to distract everyone even if it is on vibrate.  
  8. Know that meetings are not a competition. Keep an open mind to new ideas or suggestions from others. Be supportive of your sisters or colleagues. Patience and professionalism go a long way.