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Meeting Etiquette

Meeting Etiquette

Etiquette needs to be followed everywhere; be it a date or a formal business meeting. This article provides a review of the etiquette expected to be followed at meetings in the corporate world.
Girija Shinde
Etiquette is nothing but a set of unwritten rules that are accepted by everyone, for the smooth functioning of a society. Proper etiquette is expected in all social activities and interactions. Of course, it is different for every occasion.

Following Etiquette at a Meeting

Here are the prime principles to bear in mind.

Punctuality: It might sound like a cliché, but punctuality is one quality which needs to be followed throughout life. It is a crucial factor when it comes to formal meetings. In fact, it's best to be present at the venue, at least five minutes beforehand.

If you reach late due to some reason, occupy your position, without disturbing the proceedings. If you are organizing the meeting, start on time, irrespective of the attendance. Do not make members wait, even if the others are late.

Dressing and Mannerism: Formal attire is expected. Dress like a professional. T-shirts and jeans are out of question, when it comes to a meeting. There won't be any dress code mentioned, however, you are expected to dress in clean and neat clothes. Also, pay attention to your footwear. Choose comfortable formal shoes.

Talking about manners, it is expected that you switch your phones to a silent mode. Avoid answering calls during the meeting.

Listening attentively is also an important part of etiquette. If at any point you do not agree with the chair, wait for him to finish and then put forth your opinion in a modest tone. Every person in the meeting gets a chance to express his views. Wait for your chance. Avoid aggression, and reason instead.

Be Prepared: All meetings generally have an agenda. You will be informed in advance about the meeting timing. Do not waste your and others people's time beating around the bush. Speak only about the concerned topic, in short and simple sentences.

Be precise and wrap your presentation within a certain time. Be prepared for questions that might be asked about the topic. If you cannot answer a certain query, honestly accept it, instead of providing vague answers. Also carry a pen and notepad with you.

Summarize: When the meeting ends, summarize it by giving a short account of all that happened, which includes plans that were put forward, accomplishments, any suggestions etc. Also decide the time and place for the next meeting. Do not rush out. Thank everyone for coming, if you are the organizer.

These were the most important meeting etiquette rules. Following them will not only help in improving productivity, but will also improve relationships within the team.