Business Meeting Etiquette
How to use business meetings to show poise and charisma
varying degrees of business meeting etiquette over many
years within the financial services industry. I have attended, quite possibly,
hundreds of meetings!
Some meetings are scheduled at inconvenient times and many may seem a little pointless.
However, regardless of whether the content is worthwhile, each meeting
presents an opportunity to witness your colleagues business meeting
etiquette skills, reflecting both their character and
ability to communicate.
words spoken in business meetings are almost irrelevant; the content is soon
forgotten. But the insight you can gain into the meeting etiquette of your
colleagues can prove priceless and give you the perfect opportunity to shine
with your polite behaviour, ability to speak confidently and overall business
etiquette can also be extended to your consideration towards others, before and
after the meeting, along with your attention to detail. That’s an opportunity
to impress even before you have spoken!
Peparing for the Meeting
the lighting of the meeting room to ensure no-one is squinting from direct
sunlight coming through the windows.
- Ensure there are adequate refreshments i.e. tea, coffee, water etc.
there are enough chairs and they are all of equal - height. Differences in
seating height can reflect the differences in authority; make sure that no-one
has a low seat.
- Print a
copy of the agenda for everyone and take extra pens and paper into the meeting
room in case anyone has forgotten theirs.
- Arrange for someone to take the minutes of the meeting.
During the Meeting
you do not interrupt anyone regardless of what you have to say.
your mobile phone to
silent mode and do not be tempted to look at it during the meeting.
before you speak, if in any doubt don’t. You can always email your comments
afterwards once you have had the opportunity to consider your words.
stick to the agenda; do not use the meeting as an opportunity to discuss your
concise; do not waffle.
- Avoid confrontation and
harsh words e.g. replace “you’re wrong” with “I would challenge that
because...” Also, replacing “you’re” with “that” makes it less personal.
- If you
need to give negative feedback ensure you have a recommended solution to the
problem, rather than just having a whinge.
receiving a compliment for work done, ensure you accept graciously and on
behalf of your department and do not forget to mention specific colleagues who
have helped you.
- Don't rush, you may come across as being flustered and not in control.
- If you
are really pushed for time then decline the meeting if possible. If it is
mandatory then you should let the chair of the meeting, or your manager know,
ahead of time that you have to leave early. When you do leave, do so
notes; it shows you are listening and interested (and it keeps you awake!).
- Wait a
second or so before answering a question, the slight time delay means you have
given the answer some thought and are not gushing to get your point across.
After the Meeting
for the minutes to be
emailed to everyone present at the meeting, and those who could not
attend, within one working day
Ensure you follow up on any “Action” points within the timescale
Other Business Etiquette Skills to learn on this site:
Business Email Etiquette
Business Negotiation Tactics
Business Phone Etiquette
Interview Thank You Letters
Interview Dress Code
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