A business meeting can be informative or a time wasters. You can be running the meeting or attending but certain rules apply to all. By following proper etiquette, you establish respect with the participants, help the meeting to run well and establish cooperation. It’s your responsibility to help by following a few simple rules.
1. Agenda – The Chair of the meeting should circulate an agenda at least one week in advance. This will allow participants to express any concerns about an agenda item well in advance of the meeting.
2. Arrival – Be 15 minutes early so you can find a seat and get situated before the meeting starts.
3. Make Introductions – If you are running the meeting, make sure everyone knows one another. To make introductions you should start with the person of the highest rank first. If you are the host or the higher-ranking participant, you initiate any handshakes.
4. Allow For Breaks – If you are having a long meeting, allow for breaks every two hours (about 20 minutes each).
5. Dress – The chair should let participants know if it’s a casual or business attire meeting. Try to be as specific as possible – jacket and tie, etc.
6. Cellphones/Laptops – If you require these for the meeting, let everyone know you are taking notes. If not, turn them off! And remember to put your phone away.
7. Answering Your Phone – If it’s an emergency and you need to take a call, step out of the meeting before you answer.
8. Conversations – Avoid speaking with the person next to you. It’s distracting and rude.
9. Sit Appropriately – Adjust your chair so that you are at equal height with everyone else. Don’t get over comfortable and slouch, or take off your shoes.
10. Ask Questions – Questions should be asked at the appropriate times and not at the end of the meeting.
11. Clean Up – Leave your area the way you found it.
12. Eating – If food is served, do not open bags or make a lot of noise. If food is not being served, it’s coffee only.
Enjoy your meeting!