Meetings are an important part of any business related career, and proper etiquette is necessary to ensure that meetings are orderly and productive. As a professional, you should know how to compose yourself when attending or leading a meeting. The following etiquette tips should be followed during every business meeting.
Show Up on Time and be Prepared
It is crucial that you show up on time to a meeting, and it is best to show up a little early to allow yourself time to get comfortable and ready to listen. You should prepare for a meeting by silencing any electronic devices. If your phone rings aloud during a meeting, you should silence it immediately. Do not answer a call during a meeting. You should also come prepared to the meeting with a pen and paper for notes. In some situations, it may be more acceptable to bring a laptop or tablet for note-taking. If you are leading a meeting, you should arrive at least 30 minutes early and be completely ready with all of your materials by the time your colleagues arrive.
Knowing business meeting etiquette will make you a positive contributor to every meeting you attend. If you are only there as an attendee you still have responsibilities.
Arrive to meeting on time
Arriving early and on time shows the chairperson and coworkers you care and respect them. Being late is disruptive and you will not be taken seriously in the long run.
We all know that life happens and sometimes you will be running late. If that is the case, contact the person running the meeting and give them your estimated time of arrival.
Review the meeting agenda, read any related materials and topics on what will be discussed. A very strong part of business meeting etiquette is to be prepared.
Before the meeting have some small talk with other meeting attendees. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know and reconnect with past acquaintances.
Pay attention and participate
Give your full attention to the person who is speaking. Never interrupt when someone has the floor. If something is not clear to you don’t be afraid raise your hand to ask a question. There is a chance you are not the only one confused. Always respond in an appropriate manner when you disagree with someone’s point of view. Distractions such as text messaging, checking your watch, and side discussions should be eliminated.
Running a meeting
If you are the organizer running the meeting it is your responsibility to stay on schedule. We have all been to pointless meetings where nothing concrete ever gets accomplished. Most of the time the time the person running the meeting fails to follow basic rules on running a meeting.
What can also make or break a meeting is the comfort level of the attendees. People are more likely to give their ideas in a meeting if they feel at ease. A good way to start is with icebreakers. For a list great meeting icebreakers click here.