I am going to ask a hypothetical question based on an actual conversation that took place in my house.

Say you have a 10am work meeting. People start arriving (either in person or Zoom) at 9:55. Maybe five of ten people are there.

Do you sit in silence and wait for the meeting to begin?


Do the people engage in idle conversation?

If you choose to have idle conversation, what do you choose to talk about?

Are there any topics that should be off limits during these times?

What about sports? In these pre meeting downtimes, is sports an acceptable topic, or is it too narrowly focused for general population?

In my most recent book clubs, both on Zoom and in person, we filled the down time talking about the weather. I know there are a thousand jokes centered around talking about the weather, but is there a real reason why we use it as a fallback- because it is comparatively safe to discuss with people you may or may not know well?

When we think of meetings we usually think of work related, but obviously you can have a meeting about anything. Do you have different types of conversation depending on whether or not the meeting is social or business?

Inquiring minds want to know: pre meeting chit chat- yay or nay? What’s the skinny?