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
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.
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.
Meetings should have a break every two hours. Breaks should be 20 minutes long, and meal breaks should be 30-45 minutes long.
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.
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.
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.
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.Schedule a free coaching consultation with Wayne