Almost every week in our work life is characterized by the need to attend a meeting or two. It happens so often that it would be embarrassing not to know the necessary etiquette expected of us in such situations. While some meeting etiquettes are specific to some organizations based on procedures, many others apply to every meeting you may be involved with. This article details the standard behaviors you should abide by in all discussions.
Usually, meetings require a level of preparation from intending participants. From preparing what you will be presenting or contributing to what you intend to make, having your notepad and pens close by. Freeing your calendar to ensure there is no clash between 2 activities at the scheduled time and ensuring that you arrive at the location of the meeting earlier enough. Finally, ensure that any action that needs to be put in place on your part to ensure a smooth process during the meeting is taken care of.
Every occasion has its dress code and conduct, especially a business meeting. How you present yourself should match the audience or participants in the meeting and the meeting you will be attending. A routine meeting of employees in a company is different from a meeting with a prospective client, so know what is best for the right occasion.
Be actively engaged
When coming to a meeting, ensure that your phone is switched off or put on silent to avoid any disturbance. Don’t fidget with your phone or engage in side conversations while the meeting is still on. Instead, you should actively listen and be fully involved to understand the discussed matter and share your viewpoint when needed.
Nodding your head while you listen to the other person speak, holding firm eye contact, affirming their statements, and asking for clarifications are some ways to use verbal and non-verbal cues to show your engagement in a meeting.
Speak clearly and concisely
When it’s your turn to talk, ensure that your words are clear and straight to the point as much as possible. Don’t dabble around and go on and on when you can make it brief and understandable.
Portray confidence by speaking audibly and organized. Endeavor to stay on topic and not stray from the allotted time for a subject matter. Be courteous of all participants’ time and the need to ensure the meeting’s agenda is reached.
Be respectful and kind.
Treat everyone in the room respectfully, even if you disagree with their opinions. Don’t interrupt while they speak or ridicule their ideas and submissions. Remember that your priority should be making the best decision for the company, not about your ego or trying to enforce your opinion over everyone.
While it’s okay to have conflicting views with a colleague, you must approach the matter respectably and kindly, which shows that you’re only after helping the company arrive at a favorable outcome without causing resentment among participants in the meeting.
In summary, while meeting etiquette might change depending on the company, setting, and context, it remains a crucial component of creating a positive and professional work environment leading to improved communication, increased productivity, and improved relationships amongst your employees.