JS Tip 235: From the Managing Meetings Workshops: Get to the Meeting on Time

Last week, we talked of the need to start meetings on time.

If you delay the meeting, you discourage those on time and encourage those coming late.

The tip generated a lot of discussion.

Aaron Wilson wrote, “I think it’s rude to be late.  Sometimes it’s difficult, though, if you have meetings back-to-back and the first meeting runs late. Do you leave early?”

Three thoughts:

One. If you’ve got meetings back-to-back, let the person in charge of the first meeting know beforehand: “I may have to leave early. I have another meeting right after this one.”  

Two. Sit in the back. Near the door. If you have to leave early, leave quietly and don’t disrupt the discussion. Wave good-bye as you leave. Point at your watch, yourself, and the door. That’s courtesy. 

Three. If the person in charge of the meeting knows what she’s doing, she’ll discuss the most important points first. She’ll run the meeting like a news article—not a novel—with the important points first.

If you have to leave early, you’ll have been part of the important discussions. 

A meeting is an appointment. Others depend on you. It’s rude to be late.

If you have suggestions for better meetings, let us know. We love this stuff.