It’s that moment when you check your watch or the clock on the wall for the 10th time in five minutes that the thought runs through your head, “I can’t take it anymore!”
We all know some work meetings can drag, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant. You’ve tried doodling, rubbing your eyes or maybe yawning into your shoulder, but here are five proven tips that will get you through your next boring work meeting and possibly the information that could lead to your next promotion.
Face the speaker. Keeping your attention on the subject at hand shows that you are alert and comprehending what is said. If you feel yourself slipping, nod and smile at the speaker to show you’re listening. Remember, the saying, “fake it until you make it,” sometimes actually works.
Listen like your feedback is needed. Pretend that the speaker pulled you aside before the meeting and asked for your opinion on the information and presentation. Now, if the speaker didn’t ask you to do this, it probably isn’t smart to give it, but it might help you listen differently. Keep an ear out for your number-one takeaway. Write down questions even if you can’t ask them in the meeting. At the end go back to your office and summarize the meeting in your own terms.
There is always something to be learned. News flash, even though you think you know everything about your work, you don’t. There is always something to be learned from someone else. If it seems hard to pick out, really listen for it. Look at things as if it was your first day on the job all over again.
Avoid distractions. If you need to take off your watch, put your phone in your bag or use a pencil so you stop clicking your pen, do it! Every time you have the urge to reach for something to fiddle with, remind yourself to refocus and pay attention.
Put prejudgments in your pocket. No matter your opinion on the subject, speaker or how your day is going, put it aside for the next hour. Look at meetings as an opportunity to start anew with your attitude. Changing your perspective may open your eyes (and ears) to the keys to success.