Wendy's Words - May 2016 - Business Meeting Etiquette for Junior Executives
Wendy’s Words May 2016
Business Meeting Etiquette for Junior Executives
Throughout your career, you will attend many business meetings. Whether as a Participant or a Facilitator you should ensure you follow correct business etiquette.
Here are 10 points for success:
1. Be on Time
It is rude to keep people waiting, or worse, disrupt a meeting that has already commenced. It is better to be a few minutes early so you can get settled in.
2. Be Prepared/Read the Agenda
If you are the Meeting Facilitator you should have pre-prepared a strong, clear agenda and forwarded it to Participants well in advance of the meeting to ensure they can come prepared. If you are a Participant, similarly, you should have read the agenda prior to the meeting and undertaken any preparation necessary.
3. Phone Off and Out of Sight
Don’t be disrespectful to others; it’s distracting if a phone lights up or starts vibrating in a meeting.
4. Look Sharp
If it is a sit-down meeting be sure to adjust your chair so you are not sitting lower than others at the table – you don’t want to look like you are ‘shrinking away’ from the meeting.
Show respect by being professional, attentive and engaged. Don’t slouch! Sit-up, look others in the eye, smile and be interested.
5. Don’t Eat During Meetings
Unless food is provided, don’t eat during a meeting. Eating can be noisy or smelly (think eggs/salmon/banana). Drinking water is always considered acceptable but coffee and tea should only be consumed when appropriate (if the Facilitator is drinking tea or coffee, you can also).
6. Be a Good Listener and Speak Up When Appropriate
Listen when others are speaking and make notes, but be sure to be an active participant so the meeting will be productive. Don’t save everything you want to add until the end of the meeting because the point may well be lost by then. When speaking, be sure your voice can be heard. Speaking softly can indicate a lack of confidence.
7. Avoid Annoying Habits
Don’t distract others by clicking your pen, drumming fingers on the table, tapping your feet, rustling papers and other nervous habits. These actions will make you appear either disinterested or nervous and will disrupt or irritate others.
8. Be Clear on Your Action Items
It is very important at the end of the meeting you are clear on what is expected. It is important to complete your action items from that meeting by the agreed deadline/s.
9. Say Thank You
At the conclusion of internal meetings:
A ‘thank you’ to the Facilitator will always be appreciated; something as brief as ‘Thanks for getting us together; great meeting’ will be sufficient.
At the conclusion of meeting with Clients/Prospects:
In addition to a verbal thank you, to cement your relationship, an email of thanks for the Client’s/Prospect’s time is recommended.
10. Clean up
If you have been drinking or eating during the meeting, out of respect for the next users of the meeting room, ensure you remove all items/leftovers and be sure to push your chair in.
The above points will ensure you show your professionalism.
Until next time!
Wendy De Audney
02 9231 3411