If you want to succeed, “show up”:
Don’t ask for directions that are clearly stated in the literature or notice you’ve received. Pay attention.
Get to the meeting early and get your materials and support prepared. Find a good seat to listen and to influence.
Don’t get up to get coffee when the organizer says, “We’re ready to begin.” Stop talking to the person next to you while others are talking. And don’t think no one notices you’re texting. Is there another reason to be staring at your lap?
No one is impressed that you’re talking and laughing with others as the meeting or event is beginning. Sit down and don’t have to be asked three times.
Stop being a prima donna. Don’t ask for the temperature to be changed if you’re the only one uncomfortable. Put something on or take something off. Unless you have a true allergy problem, stop asking for a special meal to be prepared for you. And never take the meal that everyone else had at lunch and ask for it to be delivered to you after the program reconvenes.
You have no right to order Internet service in a conference room at a cost to the organizer, nor to ask for additional power strips.
Don’t ask for private time when there are 50 people in the room who would like the same benefit.
Arrange your calls and email during lunch or after the meeting. Stop taking longer breaks to reply to calls that are less than urgent.
If there was preparatory work, do it. Turn it in on time.
Bring business cards, extra batteries, writing implements. Dress appropriately. Act as if the event wasn’t a last-minute surprise to you.
Ask questions, don’t merely answer them. Stop trying to be a faculty member or the second smartest person in the room.
Make your travel arrangements so that you get there before it starts and leave after it ends.
If you’re on a teleconference, either don’t use a speaker phone or mute it. Spoiling it for everyone else with ambient noise and irrelevant conversations should be a criminal offense.
Show some tolerance. Don’t lash out at the hotel or the organizer because an elevator is out of service or the restaurant doesn’t stock Muesli.
Follow up. Send a thank you. Acknowledge the experience. Be someone who people are eager to see again, not someone whose presence discourages others from coming back.
© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.