15 things you do in meetings that drive colleagues nuts

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Annoying meeting colleagues

Business meetings are inspiring and productive when they’re done right but unfortunately they can end in a fiery mess (metaphorically speaking) if people don’t bring the right attitude to them.

Are you the nightmare team member in meetings? If you do any of these, then yes… so stop it. Make your meetings great again by avoiding these meeting mistakes.


There’s nothing worse than someone talking over you when you’re about to deliver the game-changing idea in a meeting. You’re an adult, so act like one. Wait until that person has finished THEN you can contribute.

Shooting down suggestions

Meetings are about collaboration and sharing. Too often people in meetings shoot down ideas put forward. The result? People become inhibited about putting suggestions forward. You might disagree with an idea and it’s right to voice your opinion but do it tactfully.

Turning up late

Did you not learn about the importance of punctuality in school? There’s nothing worse than everyone hanging around sharing dull stories about what they did at the weekend whilst they wait for you. Turn up on time. It’s not hard!

Not turning up at all

Even worse is missing a meeting without giving notice that you won’t be there! Everyone has taken time out of their busy days to be there, so if you can’t be then let someone know so that the meeting can go ahead on time or be rescheduled for a time that you’re there.

Coming unprepared

“Yeah, um, what’s this meeting about? I didn’t read the email.” Just get out. If you don’t know what this meeting is about, then there’s no point you being here. You’re busy. We get it. We’re all busy. Just take five minutes to familiarise yourself with the meeting email or memo.

Not contributing

Are you the guy or girl who sits at every single meeting gazing into the middle distance and thinking about Game of Thrones? You’re driving your colleagues nuts. You’re not expected to talk just for the sake of it but put some effort into making the meeting worthwhile by engaging in conversations. You might actually enjoy it.

Using buzzwords

We’re all a little bit guilty of using office speak. It’s an unavoidable problem. Just try to keep it to a minimum. You might think talking about “low hanging fruit” and “outside the box” makes you sound clever but it doesn’t. Your colleagues think you sound like a dick.

Using your phone

This is a slightly controversial one. Some businesses have no problem with team members using them in meetings and that’s fine. But, if the policy is not to, then don’t! You cannot be properly engaged in what’s going on if you have your head buried in your smartphone.

Not taking notes

This is a biggie. Don’t be the one who sits there with a blank notepad or laptop. It shows that you’re not really taking an interest in what’s happening. Even worse, not bringing one at all and claiming that you have a really good memory. Do. Not. Do. This.

Repeating points

Time is tight. Make your point. Discuss. Then move on. Easy, really.

Taking glory for other people’s contributions

This is the one that really rubs people up the wrong way. Did Susan share her awesome idea with you in the kitchen earlier? Did you think, that’s going in the bank for the next team meeting? Yes? You’re an awful person.

Sucking up to the boss

Definitely another one from the Annoying Meeting Habits Hall of Fame. Stop nodding and clapping like a seal at every single thing your manager says in a meeting. Everyone in the room is cringing at your antics.

Constantly being negative

Negative people are bad news in meetings and bad news for business in general. By all means, discuss problems openly but focus on outcomes.

Raising personal grievances

This a big no-no in meetings. General meetings are called to talk about things that affect the running of your business or department, not your outrage at Brian’s promotion ahead of you. Talk to HR, don’t open that can of worms in the meeting room.

Taking different views personally

If someone disagrees with you in a meeting, don’t sulk and take it as a personal attack (unless of course, it is a personal attack). Nothing gets achieved by everyone agreeing with everyone in meetings so grow up.

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