Some people can barely stay awake during meetings and will contribute very little, while others will thrive and completely change the tone of the room. So, what makes the latter different?
They’re focused and do not multitask.
At times, we’ve probably all been guilty of multitasking on a Zoom call when it hasn’t pertained to our duties or needed our input. However, the smartest people at meetings do not multitask. They know that by only giving a fraction of their energy, they are doing themselves and their teammates a disservice.
If the meeting was important enough for them to attend in the first place, then they will be present, listen carefully, and contribute productively. They are viewed highly by their colleagues as they’re focused and add value to the conversation.
They make eye contact.
The smartest people at meetings will use eye contact to gauge how other people are reacting when they speak, while they’ll also purposely make eye contact with the other speakers to assure them that they’re listening.
Often, they’ll be able to pick up on what the presenter is trying to say and step in to offer strategic help if they become stuck. To others, they come across as crazy intelligent. However, they’re really just great observers.
They take strategic notes.
The smartest people at meetings are busy actively listening, and so they will not be consumed by meticulous note-taking. However, they will take strategic in taking notes on items they are personally responsible for.
If something is mentioned that they alone must not forget, then their head will be down to make a note of it, which will also signal to the other people that they take their assignments seriously.
They have a clear goal in mind.
Masters of meetings will often only ever show up or call a meeting when there’s a clear purpose behind it. If during the meeting it then begins to take a turn away from its objective, they’ll speak up and bend the conversation back towards the intended goal.
As they’re goal-focused and highly deliberate with their time, they’re often tough to nail down for meetings. Although if they do show up, you know they’ll be on fire and bring value to the room.