10 People You Don’t Want In Your Meetings

Bad Meeting Behavior-1

You work hard to prepare your meeting.

Materials are ready. The right room is reserved. And you believe you have the correct people in the room.

Then, everything goes sideways due to a few bad apples in the bunch.

Have you ever had a meeting derailed by bad behavior?

Bad Meetings or Bad Behavior?

You have planned the perfect meeting only to have it go off the rails due to the inappropriate behavior of a few individuals.

Maybe they show up late. Or decide to work through your meeting. Or they are just there to verbally disrupt things.

Are your meetings being ruined by bad attendees?

You know, those that show up, but are there to do anything but be productive. Bad behavior can ruin even the best planned meetings.

“Bad meeting behavior by one individual can waste the time of everyone in the room.” (Tweet this Quote)

The funny thing is that while these individuals act like they don’t want to be there, they are quick to cry out when they are left out.

Don’t invite them back and see what happens. That will get their attention quickly.

To have better meetings, you need to leave out the troublemakers, disrupters, and sometimes just plain rude participants.

Here are 10 People That You Don’t Want In Your Meetings:

  1. The Sleeper – This is the person in the corner who thinks they can fall asleep and no one will notice. If you can’t be awake for the meeting, please excuse yourself and go take a nap.
  2. Working on Their Laptop – Clickity-click. Tappity-tap. This individual shamelessly works on their laptop throughout the meeting. If you call on them they will respond, “Can you repeat that?” They will work through your entire meeting if you let them.
  3. The Rank-puller – This individual has a job title and they aren’t afraid to use it. They say arrogant things like, “I am a <insert title>, when you are in my position you will understand.” Lead by your ideas and attitude, not your title.
  4. The Complainer – Even if the company has decided to hand out free money, this person will find a reason to complain. (I have actually seen this happen!) Negative Nelly. Debbie Downer. They always look at the dark side of things.
  5. The Liar – The Liar makes stuff up. They didn’t learn the basic lesson of truth-telling when they were young. There are many flavors of liars. Those who lie to look important. Those that lie because they don’t know anything. And so on. Whatever the case, you don’t need them misrepresenting reality in your meeting.
  6. The Conversation Dominator – This person talks the entire meeting and won’t let others participate. This individual is dangerous because they drown out other points of view. They also disenfranchise other team members by preventing them from being heard.
  7. Credit-taker – The Credit-taker is only present to brag about their successes. They are only concerned about looking important and taking credit that they deserve. (Or don’t deserve.) If they don’t have anything to boast about, it isn’t uncommon for them not to show up.
  8. The Unprepared – The Unprepared individual arrives totally unaware of what is to be discussed. They might not even know what the meeting  is about, they just managed to read their Outlook calendar to figure out the meeting location. He or she hasn’t reviewed any of the materials or documents, and doesn’t have any insights or value to add to the discussion.
  9. Always Late – Who is late to your meetings? Chances are they are perpetually late. They cause interruptions and re-starts to meetings that are already in progress.
  10. The Bully – The Bully puts down others. insults people, and generally creates havoc. Afterwards, they will downplay or deny what they said. They will continue to treat others poorly until called on their behavior or put in their place.

Bonus Bad Attendee: The Expendable Crew Member – This is the extra body. They have absolutely no reason to be there. You’re not even sure they were invited or how they got there. (Maybe for the free food?)

People You Don’t Want In Your Meetings

Meetings are hard enough without people misbehaving in them.

One individual can waste the time of everyone in the room.

Leave the troublemakers off the invite-list. Only bring those to the table who can behave and bring value to the immediate discussion.

Don’t let bad behavior ruin your meetings.

Question: Who should not be invited to your next meeting? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

11 thoughts on “10 People You Don’t Want In Your Meetings

  1. I have actually seen all 10 of these people in one meeting. Needless to say, probably the most unproductive, ineffective and negative organization I ever had the privilege of leaving.

  2. I too have dealt with each person listed. One that stands out in my mind is when one person is a combination of at least two characteristics. Like the person who comes in late and unprepared, having to walk in and out of the room to get the items they need. Oh, and then they find something to complain about (none of their faults of course).


  3. Well, you can’t really avoid certain people to have those attitudes on the meeting. So sad that most of these people are professionals but they don’t consider the so-called etiquette..

  4. Isn’t the one holding the meeting, “supposed to” keep these people on track, at bay and on topic. I’ve been to many meetings, far too many times and it’s been a waste of my valuable time! Perhaps a list of things the leader should not do, like invite those that have nothing to do with the issue or topic.
    Having a meeting at the busiest time of day, having a meeting just to hear themselves talk, going off topic, way off topic, and expecting the participants to be prepared! Having no rules of order.
    I agree with the points made here “whole-heartedly” I just feel there are two sides and probably past “enabling” experience for a few of them, that could easily be solved.

  5. As a business owner, I have faced all these kind of persons in my life and they are influenced on business very badly. To get rid of these meeting problems I have decided to adopt the meeting management technology which can keep my employees engaged and interactive throughout the meeting. Finally, I found it and the technology name is the meeting wall. I suggest every company or business owners get this technology in case you want to make your meeting productive and effective. Here is the link – http://themeetingwall.com/. I appreciate the writer of this great article and a big thumbs up for him/her. Keep up the work and keep on educating us about the successful meetings.

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