Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

10 Infuriating People Who Should Be Banned From All Meetings

By Mark Wilkinson | Sep 29, 2016 | Friday Funnies

Think back to all of the annoying meetings you’ve ever had…

angry woman - annoying meetingsDo they all have one thing in common? More specifically, one person?

They exist in every company: those people who seem hell-bent on sabotaging your weekly catch-up or ruining your yearly review with their ultra-irritating behaviour.

We’re naming and shaming them, this week.

If (goodness forbid) you’re actually one of the perpetrators – it’s time to break the habit, for good.

1. The over-excited “strategist.”

list meetingsThe over-excited strategist has the unique (and utterly infuriating) ability to turn a five-minute catch-up into a five-hour comprehensive, strategic session.

They’ll switch topics without warning, bombard everyone with new ideas and go into minute detail about the tiniest, little details of a project.

You’ll come out of this meeting with 10,000 new things to do, 99% of which will get ditched by tomorrow’s meeting, but will rarely have actually “caught up” on anything useful.

Stop. Stick to the meeting agenda (IE. a quick catch up) and let people get on with their actual jobs!

2. The Rambler.

meetings - blah blah blahThe rambler can go on and on and on…

Often sociable, confident and a bit of an attention-seeker, they absolutely love the fact that all eyes are on them for a brief period of time – this is not an opportunity they’re willing to miss.

Sharing their stories, jokes and anecdotes (they’ll have at least one for every topic that arises) you’ll find it hard to get a word in edgeways, without being completely brutal and telling them to SHUT UP.

What makes this rambling even more infuriating is that your mega-important and well-prepared topics for discussion will probably end up getting skipped over and ignored till next time.

3. The Latecomer.

Coffee - meetingsOh, I’m sorry, I just didn’t realise that your time was so much more important than mine.

No – go ahead; get that coffee, make that “quick call,” send that email, I have absolutely nothing better to do than sit here and wait for you.

Sorry, but showing up late (without a very, very good reason) especially if you don’t let your co-workers know, is just downright rude and offensive.

If you show up late – with a coffee in your hand – you’re just pure evil.

4. The Unprepared.

meetings - confusedFirstly, if you decide to call a meeting, then you should always be prepared with an agenda.

“Winging it” isn’t an option because a) your co-workers won’t know how to prepare and b) you’re opening yourself up to mayhem; people wanting to discuss this, that and the other.

Secondly, if you have to speak in a meeting, please, please, please do not sit there shuffling papers, memorising facts and re-reading notes (whispering under your breath) while someone else does their bit.

This lack of concentration is rude and off-putting for your co-worker/s and you’re blatantly going to end up repeating things that they’ve already said.

The point? Just be prepared – otherwise you look like a d*ck.

5. The Walking Cliché.

Ok, I don’t like business clichés at the best of times…

  • “Let’s get our ducks in a row.”
  • “You really need to push back.”
  • “Can I pick your brains?”

But there’s always one person who can’t help but overdo them in meetings. It’s distracting, cringe-worthy and to be honest, makes you look like an idiot.

Click here to read the 50 oddest phrases that should (genuinely) be banned from the workplace.

It’s a MEETING; not a “kick back,” not a “crushing it session” and not a “huddle.”

6. The Daydreamer.

We’d all like to be somewhere else (perhaps a nice beach in Australia) – but tough luck.

DaydreamingBack in the room please.

There’s nothing more awkward than watching the daydreamer get snapped out of their bubble by a question they have NO idea how to answer – because they spent the last 10 minutes on the other side of the world.

Just concentrate. We have to, why are you any different?

Need some help? Check out this lifehacker article: How to Stay Focused and Engaged in Long Meetings.

7. The Argumentative D*ck.

meetings - wrongThe argumentative d*ck (excuse my French – there’s just no way of putting it politely…) will pretty much argue against every single thing that’s said.

They seem to think that to get ahead at work, they have to shoot down and trample all over their co-workers’ ideas.

Of course, they’ll never approach you prior to the meeting to discuss their concerns – why would they do that? They want their boss to see just how smart they are.

It’s ok though! Most (good) bosses can see through these dirty tactics and will find the argumentative d*ck just as irritating as you do.

8. The Fidget.

meetings - the fidgetEver tried to give a presentation with tap-tap-tap-tap-tap going on in the background?

What about when you can see a knee, almost violently shaking, just out of the corner of your eye?

I have. And it’s almost impossible to concentrate.

I know it’s difficult if you’re a natural fidget, but just spare a thought for your poor colleagues who have to sit and try to listen whilst being deafened by your nail-biting antics, random humming and knuckle-cracking.

In fact, fidgeting is SO bloody annoying, it made it onto our list of: The 50 Most Annoying Office Habits.

Just don’t do it.

9. The Constant Interrupter.

interruptingNow, one would hope that having made it out of the playground and into the office, we’d all have gotten a little bit of sense – and courtesy.

Apparently not.

There’s always that one impatient person who either openly interrupts or sits fidgeting on their chair and trying to get your attention so they can speak (they think that’s more polite. It’s not).

Just bloody wait your turn!

10. The Techno-addict.

texting in meetingsHonestly, I didn’t want to include this one, because as far as I’m concerned, if you start texting, mid-way through a meeting (unless in ridiculously extreme circumstances) you deserve the sack.

(Ok, a bit excessive…)

But seriously though, if you do spend your meetings getting distracted by texts, phone-calls, emails and social media – it really is like telling your co-workers “my time is more important than yours.”

Don’t do it. Have some respect.

The same goes for eating.

Rant over!

Did you enjoy this (totally, obviously, definitely light-hearted) blog?

(If so, you might also enjoy this one: The 10 Most Annoying Colleagues You’ll Find in Most Offices)

Well, there’s plenty more where that came from! If you’d like to receive a (short and snappy) weekly update with the latest Friday Funny, click here to subscribe!

Recruiter Pro Tip

On a serious note, if we could all agree to put an end to these little habits and (really annoying) behaviours, you’d be surprised how quickly productivity would soar!

Definite first steps should be to…

  • Ban mobile phones (and food) from meetings.
  • Get stricter with lateness. Don’t get left waiting around.
  • Quit the jargon and clichés. They just waste time.

I’m sure (most of) your employees will really appreciate any steps taken to become more efficient! It makes their time seem more valuable to you.

Want some more great tips on how to make meetings more productive? Check out these great articles…

Happy Friday – and have a great weekend.

- Mark Wilkinson
Mark Wilkinson

Mark Wilkinson

Mark is one of the founders of Coburg Banks and heads up the permanent recruitment division of the business.  Every day he helps companies with their recruitment projects, sourcing the very best individuals for their vacancies.  He understands recruitment inside-out.

> More blog posts by Mark Wilkinson

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