Meeting Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

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Originally posted on May 8, 2023 @ 5:05 pm

Meeting etiquette refers to the set of customs and rules that make a business meeting run smoothly and professionally. It encompasses a wide range of behaviors and actions that can positively or negatively impact the outcome and atmosphere of the meeting. Knowing and following meeting etiquette do’s and don’ts can help individuals build a positive reputation, establish strong relationships, and achieve their goals during business meetings. In this article, we will explore some of the most important meeting etiquette do’s and don’ts that should be kept in mind when participating in any business meeting.

Understanding Meeting Etiquette

Meetings are an essential part of professional life. They offer an opportunity for employees to share ideas, collaborate, and make important decisions. However, meetings can also be a source of stress and frustration. To ensure a productive and positive outcome, it is essential to follow meeting etiquette.

The Importance of Meeting Etiquette

Meeting etiquette is a set of guidelines that dictate the behavior of participants during a meeting. It is essential to follow meeting etiquette to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly and that everyone has a chance to participate.

Common Misconceptions About Meeting Etiquette

There are common misconceptions about meeting etiquette. For example, some people believe that it is acceptable to arrive late to a meeting or to use their phone during a meeting. These behaviors are not only disrespectful but can also disrupt the flow of the meeting.

Meeting Etiquette Do’s

Key takeaway: Following meeting etiquette is essential for ensuring a productive and positive meeting outcome. This includes being punctual and prepared, actively listening, avoiding interrupting or using phones, speaking concisely, following up on action items, treating others with respect, and avoiding being late.

Be Punctual

Arriving on time is essential to show respect for the other participants and to ensure that the meeting starts on time. If you are running late, make sure to let someone know in advance.

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Be Prepared

Come to the meeting prepared with all the necessary materials, such as a notebook, pen, and any relevant documents. Being prepared shows that you are taking the meeting seriously and that you are ready to contribute.

Listen

Listening is just as important as speaking during a meeting. Make sure to actively listen to what others are saying and to ask questions when necessary. This shows that you are engaged and interested in the discussion.

Meeting Etiquette Don’ts

Don’t Interrupt

Interrupting others is not only disrespectful but can also disrupt the flow of the meeting. Make sure to wait for your turn to speak and to listen to others when they are speaking.

Don’t Use Your Phone

Using your phone during a meeting is not only rude but can also distract others. Make sure to turn off your phone or put it on silent during the meeting.

Don’t Speak for Too Long

It is important to keep your comments concise and to the point. Speaking for too long can monopolize the conversation and prevent others from sharing their ideas.

Speak Concisely

When it is your turn to speak, make sure to keep your comments concise and to the point. Speaking for too long can monopolize the conversation and prevent others from sharing their ideas. Make sure to get to the point and to avoid going off-topic. This will help to keep the conversation focused and productive.

Follow Up

After the meeting, make sure to follow up on any action items that were assigned to you. This shows that you are responsible and committed to the success of the project. If you have any questions or concerns, make sure to communicate them with the appropriate person.

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Don’t Be Disrespectful

Respect is essential during a meeting. Make sure to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their position or level of authority. Avoid using disrespectful language or tone and be mindful of your body language. Treating others with respect can help to create a positive working environment and can lead to more productive meetings.

Don’t Be Late

Being late is not only disrespectful but can also disrupt the flow of the meeting. Make sure to arrive on time and to be prepared for the meeting. If you are running late, make sure to let someone know in advance. Being late can also make you look unprofessional and can negatively impact your reputation.

FAQs for Meeting Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

What are some basic meeting etiquette do’s?

Some basic meeting etiquette do’s include being on time, respecting fellow participants by actively listening and participating, being concise and to the point, staying focused and avoiding multitasking, avoiding dominating the conversation, and acknowledging and responding to others respectfully. It’s also essential to turn off all electronic devices, avoid side conversations, and ask permission before leaving the meeting early.

What are some critical meeting etiquette don’ts?

Some critical meeting etiquette don’ts include being late, interrupting other participants, dominating the conversation, multitasking, checking emails or text messages, using derogatory language, making inappropriate jokes, or making personal comments about other participants. Also, it’s not appropriate to criticize others publicly or create a negative environment.

What should be avoided during virtual meetings?

During virtual meetings, it’s essential to avoid multitasking, being distracted, and ignoring the camera. Make sure your background is professional and try to maintain eye contact with other participants. Using chat features to communicate with others when not necessary is discouraged, as it can be distracting to other participants. It’s equally important to dress appropriately and ensure that your microphone and video settings are functioning well before joining a virtual meeting.

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How can one respect time during meetings?

Respecting time during meetings means arriving on time and being prepared. Make sure you have all the necessary information and documents beforehand so that you can contribute meaningfully. If you’re running the meeting, start and end on time, and manage the agenda effectively to ensure you cover all the topics on the agenda. Participants should avoid taking too much time to make their points by staying concise, avoiding repetition and staying focused on the topic rather than any unnecessary tangents.

What happens when there’s a disagreement during a meeting?

When there’s a disagreement during a meeting, it’s crucial to address it respectfully and professionally. Avoid getting personal, calling names, or making derogatory comments. Instead, try to understand the other person’s point of view and express your own in a professional and concise manner. If necessary, you can take a break to give everyone time to cool off, but ensure that the issue is resolved before the meeting ends. Remember, the goal of the meeting is to achieve the objective, so it’s essential to work together and find a common ground.

What should one do after the meeting?

After the meeting, it’s important to follow up on any action items or tasks assigned to you. Thank the participants for their time and contributions and provide feedback that can help improve future meetings. Ensure that you take any notes properly and store them in an accessible location that everyone can access. If there are any outstanding issues or items that need further discussion, plan for another meeting or follow-up on email to address them.

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