New Year, New Office Skills

Master Your Office Meetings!

Now that the New Year has arrived, it’s time to start working on our career resolutions and goals for 2017. We often feel that when a new year begins it gives us an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. We feel empowered to take on new challenges and set our sights high.

So, where to start?

There are many ways to begin building a stronger work presence, and one of the best ways that is too often overlooked is in office meetings. Meetings are the perfect platform to showcase your professional skills. Though they are simple day-today occurrences for many of us, they can also be one of the few opportunities to get real face-to-face time with your superiors and cross-functional teams. While they may not say it directly to you, your managers are observing you and noting your input. Your behavior can directly affect their opinions about your quality of work and what role you play within your team.

Read on to gain some new perspectives and insights regarding common
office meeting “Do’s and Don’ts:”

Don’t be late to meetings -While it may not seem like a big deal to be a few minutes late to a meeting, it’s actually demonstrating that you have poor time management skills. Keeping people waiting can also send the message that you feel your time is more important than theirs.

Do arrive a few minutes early – Set up the room for the team and make sure you are fully prepared. If you are presenting on your computer, make sure you have the correct cable connection and a charger. Spearheading a conference call? Have the phone numbers easily accessible and test the connection.


Don’t dress too casual – Your appearance is a direct reflection of your attitude. If you look unprofessional people will assume that the quality of your work is not professional.

Do look put together – Wear appropriate office attire. Your clothes should always be clean and pressed, you want people to notice the great work you are doing, not your wrinkled shirt. Look to your coworkers for guidance on what is the standard for your workplace.


Don’t be on your phone or laptop – When your coworkers see you fidgeting with your gadgets they may interpret it as disinterest in what the speaker has to say, and quite honestly it can come across as a rude behavior.

Do pay attention – Make sure to practice active listening in meetings. Make eye contact with the speakers, take diligent notes and contribute with insightful comments to move the meeting along.


Don’t interrupt your teammates – In the work world we like things to move fast, after all, time is money. Sometimes our hastiness leads us to unintentionally interrupt our teammates because we want to give them an answer right away.

Do listen and wait to respond – To show that you are truly listening, be respectful and wait for the speaker to fully finish their thought. This leads to better communication and understanding.


Don’t gossip – It is easy to vent frustrations when you have an active audience. When you are facing a work dispute, present the problem to your team in an objective manner. Don’t let negative emotions take over, instead, work together to build a game plan to resolve any issues.

Do choose your words wisely – Always be aware that what you say about others is actually more telling about your own personality and integrity. Speak kindly of others, show empathy, and give people the benefit of the doubt. You want to be the positive person on your team who seeks answers and solutions.


When you take these actions in your office meetings you will present yourself as the valuable team member you are and as someone your co-workers can look up to. Showing these qualities to your managers can definitely help boost your career. It is important to remember that you are a representation of not only yourself but also your team and manager, making it ever more important to put your best foot forward