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Meeting Etiquette

Learn Tips on Meeting Etiquette

It is important to know good business meeting etiquette and to use it at every meeting you attend. Whether it is an informal meeting among colleagues or a big meeting with those from another company, there are some things that should always be considered a part of good meeting etiquette.

Always arrive at a meeting on time. This is something that sometimes falls by the wayside as days get busy and we rush from one meeting to the next. If you can, even try to arrive as early as possible so that you can be get settled and focus on what the meeting is about.
Make sure to bring at the very least a pen and paper or notebook so that you can take notes or write down anything important that you don’t want to forget. It is important even if you don’t take any notes, because it shows that you are interested in what is going on.

Always come to meetings well-prepared, having read all of the relevant material. It is important for you to give input whenever it seems appropriate. Listen attentively and be prepared to comment if asked even if you think the whole meeting is a waste of your time. You should make the most of being there and try to get something good out of the meeting. One way to stay involved is to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers.

Many times, especially in large companies, meetings include people who may not like one another or get along with one another. If a situation like this exists, or the meeting is simply about a controversial issue or policy, try at all times to be calm and diplomatic. Do not cut in or interrupt when someone else is speaking. While it is certainly appropriate to express a disagreement or reservation about a subject or decision, it is not proper for arguments to go on or for people to be inconsiderate of others.

If you are the person running the meeting, make sure you have a very clear agenda and stick to it--don’t let the meeting get off track. It is also good to set a time limit so that everyone knows the amount of business to be covered and how long they have to do it. This will help with flow. Also encourage people who tend to be quiet to take an active role in the meeting. It is up to the meeting manager to make sure that the object of the meeting is met and that all of the relevant issues have been covered.

Meeting etiquette calls for you to dress professionally. If there are introductions to be made, try to be as smooth as possible and say at least a few words, such as what the person’s position is or something that they have accomplished. Whenever you are introduced to anyone, it is proper meeting etiquette to stand up and shake hands. If there is some reason you can’t, be sure to say something about why you can’t, such as “I’d stand up but I hurt my back recently” or “I would stand up but there‘s not enough space.”

Try to remember the names of the people you have met at the meeting. Many times people are concentrating so hard on what they are doing to say or do next that they have forgotten someone’s name almost as fast as it is said. You want to always try to come across favorably and in a positive way. If people develop negative feelings about you from a meeting it can affect whether your business succeeds or fails.




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