Business Meeting Etiquette Top Ten

Business Meeting EtiquetteAdherence to proper business meeting etiquette establishes respect among meeting participants, helps the meeting begin and end on time, and fosters an atmosphere of cooperation.

In my opinion – a lack of etiquette and poor planning are two of the main reasons why many business meetings fail.

Teach your employees the business meeting etiquette top ten rules to ensure that your meetings are effective.

Business Meeting Etiquette Top Ten

1.) Arrival

Arrive to the location of the business meeting at least 15 minutes early – ever heard of “Lombardi Time”? This allows you to find a seat and get situated before the meeting starts.

2.) Agenda

The chairperson of the meeting should distribute a meeting agenda to each participant at least one day/week in advance (situational). Participants should call the chairperson to express any concerns about the agenda at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

The chairperson and concerned participant will then have time to determine if changes need to be made. The agenda should also mention the meeting’s start and ending times.

3.) Be Prepared

Each participant should come to the meeting with all of the materials and data they will need and an understanding of the meeting topic.

4.) Breaks

Meetings should have a break every two hours. Breaks should be 20 minutes long, and meal breaks should be 30-45 minutes long.

5.) Attire

The chairperson should indicate what kind of attire is required for the meeting, either business casual or business formal, and participants should follow that rule.

A representative listing of the attire would be helpful as participants may have differing views on what business casual and business formal is. For example, when listing the meeting as business formal, you can indicate that a button-down shirt and khaki pants are sufficient.

6.) Speaking

Keep the meeting organized by only speaking when you have the floor. Proper business meeting etiquette says that you should only ask questions during the designated question period, and raise your hand to be recognized by the chairperson as having the floor. Do not interrupt someone while they are speaking or asking a question.

7.) Meeting Types

Each part of the Meeting should be described in the Agenda. Is a portion of the Meeting dedicated to “Info Share”? Is there a portion that you reserve for “Creative Discussion” or “Creative Decision Making” It is helpful if all participants understand the meaning of these.

8.) Listen

You may find that many of the questions you have about a topic are answered by the content of the meeting. Listen attentively to the meeting and take notes.

9.) Cell Phones and Laptops

Turn off your cell phone prior to the start of the meeting. If you are expecting an urgent call, then set your phone to vibrate and excuse yourself from the meeting if the call comes in.

Unless laptop computers have been approved for the meeting, turn yours off and lower the screen so that you do not obstruct anyone’s view.

10.) Guests

Do not bring unannounced guests to a meeting. If you have someone you would like to bring, then proper business meeting etiquette says you should contact the chairperson for permission to bring your guest.

Train your team in these no-nonesense basics in business meeting etiquette for efficient and productive meetings.

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Situational Leadership Basics

Situational Leadership - Wayne Scherger Business Coaching - Atlanta, GAThe Situational Leadership® model is a theory of business leadership that promotes the benefits of combining a range of managerial styles to cater to different people within the same organization.

This is opposed to the more traditional view of the executive manager who may employ the same leadership tactics across an entire organization, more than likely passing directives down through subordinates and other intermediaries.

But by employing the strategies put forth in the Situational Leadership® Model, a manager would potentially have the capabilities to deal with a wide range of people and, thereby, create a more employee-centric and innovative organization through the level of direct contact he or she has with members at all levels.

Further, the leader would be free to place more or less emphasis on a particular task as well as more or less emphasis on relationships with employees – enabling them to focus on the component most needed to get the task accomplished successfully.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

The core foundation of the Situational Leadership® Model is the belief that there is no single “best” approach to leadership.

Instead, effective leadership is viewed as task-relevant. Therefore, the most successful leaders are the ones who are able to adapt their leadership styles across a broad range of varying maturity levels readily present within the average organization.

Also factoring into the choice for leadership style are the individual employees’ willingness and ability to take responsibility for the task as well as their applicable education and experience.

Given the wide level of variance in these factors, choices surrounding leadership are highly subjective in regard to the person or work group that is being influenced; as well as the specific job or function that has been assigned – a situation some say lends itself perfectly to the Situational Leadership® Model.

The Four Styles of Situational Leadership®

Though it’s meant to provide extreme adaptability, there are four basic styles when it comes to the Situational Leadership® model, each custom tailored to elicit the highest productivity from each employee or group.

As you’ll see, there is a clear distinction between productivity and employee-development, with the first two styles (telling and selling) focused on accomplishing the task while styles three and four (participating and delegating) are more concerned with the personal development of team members.

  • Telling – Within this style, a leader will specifically instruct subordinates what to do and how to do it. This style is used at length within the law enforcement and military communities as well as on manufacturing assembly lines, providing a means of managing a diverse group of people that span a wide range of experience and maturity levels.
  • Selling – Information and direction will still be provided by the manger in this style of leadership but there’s also more two-way communication with subordinates. Within this role, leaders “sell” their message to get employees on board, persuading them to work toward the common goal.A perfect example of this type of leadership is often found in an internship situation, with the success of this approach dependent upon whether the student or apprentice learner is excited and self-motivated to be on the job.
  • Participating – With participation, leaders can focus more on relationships and less on direction. In doing so, the Situational Leadership® manager works closely with the team and shares decision-making responsibilities.This style is often used by corporate leaders who are attempting to influence a board of directors toward developing a new policy for which there is no proven history or established practice.
  • Delegating – Although the leader will still monitor task- and organizational-progress, he or she will pass much of the responsibility for the execution and completion of the established goals onto the individual subordinates or dedicated work groups.By delegating, the leader is usually less involved with decisions and is therefore able to focus on the work and achievements of subordinates, as seen commonly in the freedom given to tenured professors who are allowed to teach in the manner they believe is most effective while being monitored by a dean or department head.

The Situational Leadership® model was created by professor / authors Dr. Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard.

Time Management Techniques for Small Business Owners

Time management techniques for small businessWhen I visit small business owners—mostly service businesses—it’s evident early on why some owners are successful and others struggle.

It’s all about implementing time management techniques.

As an owner, you know just getting through the day many times seems like an insurmountable challenge (my business coaching will help you with that).

But you can’t take your eyes off future critical dates: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and quarterly reporting and planning periods.

Take Your Control Back with Structured Time Management Techniques

Define a Daily Schedule

No matter what business you’re in, you need to have a defined daily schedule and adhere to it … as best you can. I know. It’s not easy. I’ve been there: You feel like you’re “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”.

Unlike a football quarterback who may let the game come to him, you have to take control of your time and ward off those pesky distractions that can keep you from moving forward and that sack you of energy. This may be one of the hardest time management techniques, but you can do it; you just have to discipline yourself.

Follow a Daily Routine

A routine is not a rut; it’s a groove to guide you and to act as a safety barrier if you feel like your careening off course.

One of my mentors, at the end of each day, plotted his tomorrow. He made regularly scheduled time for production (job-site management, production management), marketing and sales, as well as administrative responsibilities.

On the lighter side he said, “If you’re going to lie awake at night fretting about tomorrow at least your thoughts will be organized.”

You’ll find that each day of the week becomes scheduled and systematized. You’ll be more efficient in how you allocate your time and more productive as a leader. And as an owner, develop a “day in the life of” to train your staff to follow their own routines:

For example, 8 am – 11 am is operations, 11 am – 2 pm is flex time and 2 pm – 5 pm is marketing.

Time management techniques allow you to look ahead, set aside specific times each week—say Wednesday afternoon and Sunday evening—to manage the administration of the business and to make changes to job status reports——as data changes.

Dedicate one day a week—Thursday is a great time—for no meetings. Tackle those tasks that need your full attention without getting yourself tied up in non-essential meetings that are a “time suck.”

Prioritize a To Do List or Schedule

By all means, prioritize your tasks, e.g., A (most important), B and C (of lesser importance).

Too often I see people busy taking care of “C” items and avoiding the overwhelming “A” items. DON’T. You’ll find that sticking to a schedule and tackling the tougher problems first will give you greater satisfaction and propel you through the rest of the day.

Put Time Management Techniques on your To Do List

A WORD TO THE WISE: Use a calendar either online or the ol’ school paper variety to post your meetings and responsibilities. I can tell you from experience, discipline yourself to keep a “to-do list” and to keep to it.

Put time management techniques into place and make them a habit. You’ll sleep better at night.

Strategic Business Plan for the New Year

You and I are small business owners. We are entrepreneurs. Business strategic planning is an important piece of our success. I’d like to share with you a simple strategic business plan I create at the beginning of each year.

My Strategic Business Plan Shopping List

Strategic Business Plan for Small Business Owners and EntrepreneursDuring the holidays I make two shopping lists. One that’s under wraps for family and friends … and another shopping list for my business.

It’s not a “wish” list of stuff I want to buy; though I am an entrepreneur and I always want stuff.

It’s not my New Year’s resolutions, because to be successful, I’d have to fulfill them. And that’s just not a good strategy.

My annual strategic business plan is part “to-do” list, part calendar of events, and part self-help plan.

A few of the to-dos include purchasing a personal cloud storage system that combines the best features of both Internet cloud and network attached storage, and memory cards for my camera. Both are included and budgeted in my annual plan.

The rest of my business shopping list is grouped under four headings: “Big Idea,” “Knowledge,” “Time” and “Hiring.”

What’s your Big Idea?

You may not think my Big Idea is grand and ground-breaking, but for me—and I’m sure for many of you—it’s a commitment to keep up with the rate of change outside of business and to stay a step ahead of my competition.

A strategic business plan should always look to the future.

I’m thinking MOBILE FIRST: I’m investing in a new smartphone and upgrading my tablet. If you want to advance your business, improve your digital presence.

Knowledge: Never Stop Learning

Under Knowledge, I’ve enrolled in several seminars that will improve my business and my leadership skills. Even though I am a Business Coach, I’m always learning and bringing new ideas to my clients.

STRATEGY TIP: Don’t stop learning. Each year, take a training program on leadership. Better yet, start working with a business coach. (Don’t forget: The top golfers in the world, who earn a living playing the game, all have swing coaches.)

Take Time to Step Away and Recharge

For Time, which I know you need more of, I do something different. I step away from the business at least once a quarter to “recharge the batteries.”

I have a two-day, out-of-town golf tournament plotted on next year’s calendar. It’s a getaway for me, a mind cleansing, if you will, and I can promise from experience that when I return, I’ll be re-energized and more effective in my business.

Time away can also be as simple and easy as seeing a movie or frequenting a comedy club to relish a good laugh. For one of my clients, I recommended she join a health club … and use it!

You have to take a break from time to time. Don’t worry. The business will be there when you return. A strategic business plan should emphasize non-business activities so that you can be more effective in your business.

Hiring: Invest in Effective Tools

Last is Hiring. If your goals are to grow and to expand, you’ll need to recruit new people. Good people.

There are many options for generating response through ads and employment agencies. But networking may be a far better option.

Spreading the word through existing business relationships and resources provides first-hand feedback and references you couldn’t get with a pile of resumes.

STRATEGY TIP: Give yourself a gift and sign up for the professional membership in LinkedIn to help your recruiting efforts.

Add “Create Strategic Business Plan” to your To Do List

Include my suggested sections … your “Big Idea”, Knowledge, Time and Hiring. And then add your own. Create your business shopping list to ensure a prosperous New Year, every year.

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