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Conflict Meetings Communication

I arrived late for a meeting because I was on an important phone call with a vendor. When I quietly sat down, the manager running the meeting gave me a look of disgust and made a degrading comment. Afterwards I told him that I did not appreciate what he did, and his response was for me to get to the meeting on time. I told him about the call and he did not care. What do you think?

In the case of this meeting, you and your manager did not have a meeting of the minds. On the one hand, even if you had an excellent reason for being late, you should have offered an apology. At the same time, you are owed an apology for the public flogging by your manager.

You need to clarify some of the ground rules regarding these meetings. Ask your manager what he expects you to do when an important phone call comes in just as a meeting is about to begin. You can let him know that you believe it is best to take the call and get whatever you may have missed at the meeting from the other attendees. Then ask him what he thinks.

People are also late for meetings due to any number of underlying factors, such as a meeting's content, value, timing, or organization. Based on your manager's nasty comment, perhaps the real problem is that there is less to these meetings than meets the eye.

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