Top Three Things That Really Tick Off the Boss

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"Oh no! Not another meeting! How are we ever supposed to get any work done if we're constantly called into random meetings that last too long and go nowhere? If I had a nickel for every time ..."

Be honest: You've heard that rant before -- you've probably made similar complaints yourself. But if you think you hate all those seemingly excessive calls to converge, believe it or not, your manager probably loathes them more than you do. Of course, not all meetings grate on your bosses nerves, but there are specific aspects of them that really aggravate, and a recent survey found out just which are the biggest offenders.


1. Poor time management

The No. 1 pet peeve, mentioned by 31 percent of those surveyed, is the meeting that doesn't stick to the schedule -- it either starts late or goes over time or both, according to Accountemps, a specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. For the study, an independent research firm interviewed more than 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees.


2. No sense of direction

Managers say that the second most annoying aspect of meetings is when they seem pointless and/or unnecessary. It surprises some that this isn't No. 1, but 27 percent of the managers surveyed says this bothers them most.


3. Divided attention

The third most annoying meeting behavior is one you might not even realize that you're doing, since this has become almost subconscious and second nature. But bosses really do detest "attendees using PDAs or laptops for non-meeting-related activities." Eighteen percent of those surveyed said it bothered them more than anything else.

Feeling a bit sheepish about that one? And you thought you were doing such a good job of convincing your boss that the texts you're sending and the info you're looking up had something to do with the matter at hand, didn't you? Guess again -- you're probably not fooling anyone. They know you're on Facebook. If the temptation is too great, you might try leaving your PDA or your iPad at your desk, and taking notes by ... gasp ... hand!

Other meeting behaviors that tick off bosses include "people interrupting each other," and "meetings scheduled during lunch."

"With so many people already stretched for time, it's important to only call staff together when a physical gathering or conference call is the best way to communicate," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of "Human Resources Kit for Dummies®, Second Edition" (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "Long-standing meetings, in particular, should be continually reassessed, because groups often meet out of habit rather than due to a compelling need."

To stay on your boss's sunny side, you want to avoid any of these behaviors when scheduling, running or attending a meeting. To be certain that everyone's on the same page, why not send this info to everyone via email? Just so you don't hold a meeting to discuss it.

Next: What Nobody Will Tell You About Being a Manager



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