Welcome to Asked&Answered, our monthly advice column in which Ellen Mehling, METRO's Career Services Consultant, answers reader questions. Have a pressing concern about your job (search)? Submit your question here.
Q: What's the most effective way to share information at group meetings with colleagues? There are a lot of us at these meetings and I would like to make sure I am on point and that my updates are memorable.
A: First, be sure you are following the agendas for the meetings and examples set by previous meetings. Make sure that you have prepared thoroughly, both for your own contributions and to avoid asking questions about things you should already know.
Usually there will be a part of the meeting where each person gives a report/update and has a certain amount of time to speak. When speaking time is limited, you’ll want give thought to the focus of your update beforehand. Keep it brief! Your supervisor and co-workers will appreciate it if you keep your report concise and relevant. They can always ask for more information or clarification if they need to. If you are not on the agenda and you feel you have information to share that is of value to the other attendees, ask your supervisor if it would be possible to have a few minutes to give an update.
Some other things to take into account are: how often meetings are held, how often your boss wants updates, and how important certain bits of information are for your colleagues to know. Again here you can follow the lead of your colleagues and supplement your in-person updates with group emails.
Be sure to follow other meeting rules of your workplace, which are often unspoken/unwritten, such as phone/tablet/laptop use and eating. Take care that it doesn’t seem as if your attention is elsewhere. If you must attend to something else (a call that is truly urgent, for example), excuse yourself, leave the room, and return as quickly as possible.