Skip to main content

How Great Meeting Participants Show Up – The Do’s & Don’ts of Effective Participant Etiquette

June 18, 2024 7:00 am

Meetings are where ideas are forged, decisions crystallized, and collaborations thrive. To make the most of these shared moments, individuals must embody a set of characteristics that elevate their role from passive observer to engaged contributor. In our experience, the following list defines effective meeting participation, where the right actions propel teams toward success and the wrong ones risk undermining the collective endeavor.

The Do’s of Great Meeting Participants:

1. Come Prepared:

Do: Familiarize yourself with the agenda and any pre-meeting materials.
Do: Bring relevant notes, documents, or data to contribute to the discussion.

2. Be Punctual:

Do: Arrive on time, respecting the schedule and others’ commitments.
Do: Inform the organizer in advance if you anticipate being late.

3. Active Listening:

Do: Listen attentively to others without interrupting.
Do: Demonstrate understanding through nodding or other non-verbal cues.

4. Effective Communication:

Do: Express your thoughts clearly and concisely.
Do: Use positive and constructive language to convey your ideas.

5. Engage in the Discussion:

Do: Contribute to the conversation by sharing insights and relevant information.
Do: Pose thoughtful questions to encourage further exploration of topics.

6. Respect Others’ Perspectives:

Do: Acknowledge and respect diverse opinions and viewpoints.
Do: Foster an inclusive atmosphere that encourages everyone to speak up.

7. Stay on Topic:

Do: Focus on the meeting agenda and avoid unnecessary tangents.
Do: Bring discussions back to the main points if they veer off course.

8. Take Responsibility:

Do: Volunteer for tasks or responsibilities that align with your skills.
Do: Follow through on commitments made during the meeting.

9. Use Technology Mindfully:

Do: Silence or turn off electronic devices to minimize distractions.
Do: Use technology to share relevant information or contribute to the discussion.

10. Follow Up:

Do: Send a follow-up email summarizing key points and action items.
Do: Stay proactive in completing tasks assigned during the meeting.


The Don’ts of Great Meeting Participants:

1.    Don’t Arrive Unprepared:

Don’t: Attend a meeting without reviewing the agenda or necessary materials.
Don’t: Wing it – come with a clear understanding of the topics at hand.

2.    Don’t Interrupt Others:

Don’t: Speak over others or interrupt someone mid-sentence.
Don’t: Disregard the importance of active listening.

3.    Avoid Multitasking:

Don’t: Engage in unrelated tasks during the meeting.
Don’t: Allow distractions to hinder your focus on the discussion.

4.    Don’t Dominate the Conversation:

Don’t: Speak excessively or monopolize the discussion.
Don’t: Override others’ opportunities to contribute.

5.    Avoid Negativity:

Don’t: Criticize without offering constructive solutions.
Don’t: Bring personal grievances that are unrelated to the meeting agenda

6.    Don’t Undermine Others:

Don’t: Disregard or dismiss others’ contributions.
Don’t: Engage in behavior that undermines the collaborative spirit.

7.    Refrain from Side Conversations:

Don’t: Engage in private conversations that distract from the meeting.
Don’t: Allow side discussions to take precedence over the main agenda.

8.    Don’t Overcommit:

Don’t: Volunteer for tasks if you cannot realistically fulfill them.
Don’t: Make promises without the intention or ability to follow through.

9.    Avoid Late Submissions:

Don’t: Miss deadlines for post-meeting follow-up.
Don’t: Neglect your responsibilities in the aftermath of the meeting.

10. Don’t Disregard Technology Etiquette:

Don’t: Allow your devices to disrupt the meeting (e.g., loud notifications).
Don’t: Use technology for non-meeting-related activities.

By embodying these do’s and avoiding the corresponding don’ts, meeting participants can significantly enhance the overall effectiveness and productivity of collaborative sessions. These principles contribute to a positive meeting culture, fostering an environment where ideas flourish, and teams thrive.

Let us Know

Do you have a unique meeting challenge not covered by one of our blog posts? We’re always looking for different dilemmas to discuss in our articles!