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The 7 Types of People who Waste Time in Meetings

No matter the size of your company or what industry you’re in, you’re probably familiar with bad meetings. Whether it’s virtual or in-person, a bad meeting can waste your time and ruin your productivity for the day. Several reasons can contribute to a failed meeting. Not being prepared and dealing with various technology issues are some of the more common blunders.

But don’t forget about the guest list. Working with different personalities can be great when brainstorming or collaborating. However, those same personalities can be some of the worse meeting offenders.

To prevent these characters from ruining your next meeting, be on the lookout for the following seven personality types:

1.       The Meeting Hog

This person always wants to talk about something. It may or may not be related to your meeting—it doesn’t matter. If they want to talk about it, they will.

It’s helpful to have a meeting agenda in situations like this. Before the meeting, send out an agenda with a list of topics in order of importance. If the meeting hog begins to take the discussion off topic, politely remind him of the meeting’s goal and the agenda topics that need to be discussed.

2.       The Latecomer

No matter when or where you schedule the meeting, this person is always late. When they finally walk through the door, they disrupt the meeting that is already in progress.

In the invite, notify everyone that the door will be locked after the meeting begins. Hosting a virtual meeting? No problem. Certain online meeting tools have a special feature that allows you to lock your meeting room. The latecomers will quickly get the message.

3.       The Professional Meeter

This person likes to constantly schedule useless meetings. These meetings usually have no goals or purpose and could have been handled better in a different situation.

Although meetings are extremely useful, they’re not always the most appropriate tool to use. Sometimes a quick email or phone call can do the job just as effectively and in half-the time.

4.       The Virtual Professional

In our increasingly global world, telecommuting is becoming more and more popular. If virtual professionals are among your meeting guests, you want them to be able to easily connect to the meeting without dealing with any visual or audio limitations.

The best way to effectively interact with this person is to have the best mobile meeting tools available. Tools like iMeet can be used on a desktop, laptop, tablet or cell phone. The software also offers high quality sound and video on a low-bandwidth to eliminate frozen screens or choppy sounds. No matter where the virtual professional is located, he will be able to attend your meeting and stay 100 percent engaged until the end.

5.       The Prolonged Speaker

Usually very knowledgeable about the topic, this person has yet to master the concept of summarization. Going on and on about one thing for a long period of time is a sure way to lose the interest of the rest of the attendees. Once everyone is bored, it’s hard to get their attention back.

As you feel the meeting beginning to slip away, let this person know that time is running out and if you can, you will revisit this topic at the end of the meeting.

6.       The Multitasker

The multitasker may be one of the most common personality types. The multitasker will check emails, play games, send text messages and who knows what else while in your meeting.

Although keeping the attention of a multitasker can prove difficult, one of the best ways is to keep them busy and entertained. A presentation filled with fun presentation ideas and engaging content will keep the attention of any multitasker.

7.       The Unprepared

Have you ever been invited to a meeting and had no idea what it was about? You get an invitation, there’s no description and the meeting’s
title is vague. After arriving, you quickly realize the host is not prepared and your presence isn’t even required.

Next time this happens, send out an email asking the host for more information so you can make sure your attendance is appropriate.

Do any of these characters remind you of anyone at work? Learning to recognize and work with these various personalities will help you increase productivity and efficiency in your next meetings.

Photo Courtesy: Victo1558

About Lorna Love

Originally from Florida, Lorna moved to Atlanta to join the PGi team. In between trying to get used to Atlanta traffic and the crazy weather, she spends her free time playing with her dog, Mylo. Lorna enjoys writing about online collaboration tools and meeting tips.

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