Stop Being a Fool! The Do’s and Dont’s of Staff Meeting Etiquette

staff meeting

Staff meetings are not typically the most exciting part of an employee’s work experience. Often avoided at any cost, they are regarded as a waste of time and resources for those who would prefer to be productive elsewhere. What most team members fail to realize is that staff meetings are actually an arena for self-promotion. They provide participants with the opportunity to promote their brand, share their ideas, and develop key relationships. For those who play their cards right staff meetings can help get them the job they want and the salary they deserve. Sadly, many employees are CLUELESS and don’t take advantage of what these professional gatherings have to offer. They speak and behave in ways that are destructive and contrary to the image they are trying to build. Are you making some of these mistakes? If you value your position and want to move forward in your career ready below to learn how staff meeting etiquette can help your reach professional Excellence!

1. DO ARRIVE 15 MINUTES EARLY! Nothing ruins a professional image more than arriving late to a staff meeting.     Tardiness sends a clear message that your employer-and his message-are not important to you. It is a sign of disrespect to those who took the time to prepare for the meeting and an indication of your investment in the organization. If you want to be taken seriously you must do whatever it takes to get to your staff meeting on time-wake up earlier, allow extra travel time, and always arrange your schedule accordingly. Do not make excuses for being late and always communicate with your employer in the case of a true emergency.

2. DON’T FORGET PAPER AND PEN!  This is such a simple rule and yet so many employees fail to arrive to a staff meeting prepared. It’s not that difficult people! I don’t care if it’s a notebook, computer paper, or toilet paper. Just make sure you have something to take notes with. Staff meetings are designed to present critical information that you will likely need to perform your job more effectively. Some of you are thinking, ” I don’t need to write anything down; I have a great memory.” I DON’T CARE. Even the most intelligent employee can miss something so stop being stubborn and play along. When I see a team member taking notes at my staff meetings I get the impression that he cares about his work and takes his role seriously. By contrast, an employee who walks in with nothing but her car keys is essentially telling me, “I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO SAY.” Stop being a fool.

3. DO SAY SOMETHING! You will never get recognized for your great ideas or leadership abilities if you don’t speak during a staff meeting. I know some of you are shy but you’re going to have to get over it! Contributing to a conversation, agreeing with a colleague, and presenting an opposing view are all effective ways of getting noticed. Proceed with caution-think before you share a thought and always be clear, concise, and direct. Be selective with your words and respectful in your tone. Don’t be the annoying person in the room who won’t shut up or starts unnecessary arguments-both of these approaches will award you a reputation that you do not want. Rule of thumb: Never leave a staff meeting without sharing at least one (intelligent) thought.

4. DON’T ENGAGE IN A LOVE AFFAIR WITH YOUR ELECTRONICS! As a Director, there are few things I find more disrespectful than staff being on their phones during a meeting. Just as arriving late to your meeting sends a message about your priorities so does the use of cell phones. Think you’re doing a good job of being discrete by holding the phone down by your lap? YOU’RE NOT. You look like an idiot who could care less about the information being presented. Your Supervisor sees what you are doing so don’t insult their intelligence. “What if I have an emergency and I have to take the call?” If you are unable to wait for a break to attend to this matter, quietly excuse yourself and return to your meeting as soon as possible. If you really want to strive for excellence reach out to your Manager afterwards and apologize for stepping out of the room.

5. DO HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE! Check your attitude at the door. We all have challenging days- and even weeks- but this is no excuse to walk in to your staff meeting ready to complain about every single policy, procedure, and idea. Present any concerns you have in a respectful manner, consider your tone, and always be solution focused! A complaint that is not accompanied by a resolution is useless. Remember: attitude is contagious so if you want to be seen as a leader make sure you are sending out positive energy any time you are in the presence of your colleagues. Smile, be friendly, and look for ways to improve relationships. Trust me-this will get you noticed.

Professional Excellence requires that you present yourself in a manner that is consistent with your personal brand. As an Executive Coach I can help you develop these skills to ensure that Management sees you for the competent professional that you are really are! If you are ready to start this journey with me email me at for a free consultation.


One response

  1. Do listen to what is being said by other members of your team. Many solutions or partnering of ideas can start with someone on your team. Also, you can always speak up at the next meeting once you’ve done your research about an issue that was brought up at a previous meeting. Practice active listening and use a trusted team member as a sounding board for your ideas.


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