Business meeting etiquette is a skill that not all business schools have covered in their curriculum, but it is very essential. Many know the proper behavior during business meetings but need guidelines to do it correctly. Meeting management is what good corporate leaders strive for to increase productivity, creativity and over-all morale of the team. The price paid for the lack of guiding principles is the long, tedious and boring corporate meetings you have to endure until adjourned.
Brush up on your business conference skills and be more productive. There are different kinds of business meetings and they require different types of guidelines. The underlying tenets of these pointers are courtesy, empathy and good manners.
Informal Online Meetings
- The person initiating the meeting (the chair) should be the one with the most pressing concern in the agenda. He will decide the time, mode of communication and the agenda. He should state the objectives of the meeting to its participants, the time limits of the meeting and what is expected of them like certain documents or information. Everyone attending the meeting should confirm the details and make sure they can attend the time and place of the meeting.
- Being on schedule is a must. Avoid abusing other people's time. If you cannot make it, inform them beforehand that you might be a little later than usual.
- The chair has control of the meeting. The objective is to keep the meeting as brief and operative as possible. Disagreements should be kept to a minimum.
- There must be a pre-appointed secretary to record the proceedings--particularly the decisions made by the group. This can be printed later and distributed to the attendees as their reference. He should also inform others who might be affected with the decision but were not present at the meeting.
Formal Corporate Meetings
- Prepare in advance for the meeting, especially your contribution which might be vital to the agenda. Verify the data that you have days before the actual meeting and make revisions if necessary.
- Follow the dress code and arrive on time. Remember to switch off distractions like pagers or mobile phones. If there are seating arrangements in this kind of meeting, ask where you'll be seated.
- Always bring pen and paper to meetings. This shows interest on the agenda even if you don't get to use them. When other people are talking, avoid engaging in cross-talking.
- Consent to senior associates contributing first before you take your turn. When you do take the floor, provide relevant data briefly.
- Always address the chair unless others are not doing so. Thank the chair after the meeting as a sign of respect. In addition, never divulge information to others about the meeting.
Use these guidelines for business meeting etiquette and you will definitely have more constructive meetings that last in minutes, not hours. Once these are adhered to by all those attending the business meeting, chances of offending and misunderstandings are greatly lessened.