Love them or hate them, you cannot avoid business meetings. They put you in contact with bosses, coworkers, clients and potential business partners. The way in which you will conduct yourself will leave a really long lasting impression. Etiquette is paramount for the success of the meeting so you have to always remember the rules that are mentioned below.
Always Be On Time
One of the most important parts of a business meeting is making sure that you prepare properly and that you are not late. Do not waste the time of the other people that attend. That will only make it seem as if you are not a true professional. People want to depend on you. How can they do that when you do not arrive on time when there is an important meeting?
Always Make Introductions
If people do not already know each other, you will have to make the introductions. It is important that you start with the person that has the highest rank. This is considered a sign of respect and is highly accepted as common business etiquette.
Prepare A Good Agenda
Obviously, this is a huge part of being properly prepared and it is surprising how many do not have a strong agenda set up. You have to be on track. When you get off track, the meeting will go wrong. You will find it really difficult to get back on track without an experienced facilitator.
Proper Sitting Position
If the meeting involves sitting down, the chair should be adjusted. You want to be sure that you will be at an equal height with the other people sitting. If this does not happen, you will notice that someone will simply look like a child. This is a lot more common than you may think at the moment.
Speak Loudly Enough
As someone speaks in a meeting, it is important that he/she speaks loudly enough. Every person that participates has to hear what is said. In many situations we see women that will not speak with a strong enough volume. If you speak softly, it will seem as if you are not professional.
Be sure that you NEVER interrupt anyone. It is possible that you will have to at some point or you may not be heard but the productivity of the meeting should never be negatively affected.
Business Meeting Phone Etiquette
Most people simply keep phones on the table as a meeting takes place. This is not something that you should do. Even in the event that you do not look at the phone, distractions will appear. It is possible that the phone will make noises or light up. The best thing that you can do is put the phone inside your pocket. Make sure that it is put on vibrate. If it is absolutely necessary to return text messages or answer a call, leave the business room. One of the really rude things to do is to text as you are in a meeting.
Business Meeting Eating Rules
In the event that you will eat, you have to be sure that this is OK with all people that participate. This is because you will give off smells and make noise during the meeting. All of these are disruptive. If you did eat or drink, it is really important that you will clean up. Make sure that all things are left as they were when you started.
Business Questions Should Not All Be Asked At The End
One of the really common mistakes is asking all the questions at the end of the meeting. This is not something that you want to do. You should not add stuff and ask questions when this is not necessary, when people are ready to go. When you have a question, ask it!