Crazy 8: Things to Never Say During a Meeting

If you’ve never sat through a meeting and wondered what would happen if you said ______________ (fill in the blank), then you are truly not reaching your full potential. Surely you can’t always be 100% concentrating on the meeting discussion.  But you can behave yourself and here’s how. I’ve discovered, not always first hand but by observation, that there are just some things better left unsaid. Here are 8; please add your own to this list:

1. “With all due respect.”  This is like saying: “You’re an idiot, so hear me out.” You don’t really have respect for that person when you start a line that way.

2. “This is going to be a quick meeting.”  Quick to you may mean “one hour” but to the woman next to you it may mean ten minutes.  And for the meeting junkie, you have just disappointed him.

3. “So, what did everyone do this weekend? Let’s go around the room.” Remind yourself that you are not a kindergarten teacher.

4. “I have to leave early because I have a very important call.” That might make others feel a bit inadequate.  If you knew about the call in advance, reschedule it or don’t come to the meeting at all.

5. “Wow! That’s amazing.” This is something you might blurt out accidentally as you are scrolling your favorite web sites during the meeting.

6. “That’s above my pay grade.” Either you’re under-paid and need to talk to your manager or you are not competent enough to take on the task.

7. “What’s the ROI on the RFP? The CRO needs a baseline number ASAP.” Impress by speaking in real words with limited acronym use.

8. “Honestly…” This word should never preference a remark. Trust me.

What would you add to this list?

– Diane Schwartz

On Twitter: @dianeschwartz



  • Joanne Maloney

    I wouldn’t expect you to understand this but…..

    A tad condescending.

  • Laura

    Ehmmm…did we have a meeting? Really? Just forgot..well, can we do it another time?

    That’s the worst…


  • Jennifer

    “I’m not saying that I’m an expert, but…”

    This either makes you seem incompetent or condescending depending on how you read it.

  • john

    “The fact of the matter…”

    Really? Only YOU know the facts about the topic at hand?

  • Scott Justis

    “like I said” sounds like “you obviously were not listening so I’ll once again repeat myself “.

  • Ed Crane

    “You have to understand.” (No I don’t!)

    “I’m no rocket scientist.” (Acceptable only if you work for NASA)

    “Know what I mean?”

  • arryana

    Anytime someone shoots down an idea based on their “comfort level” – this is almost always said by someone who has a very low tolerance for innovation.