What Is Meeting Etiquette?
The quarterly meeting you’ve been eagerly waiting for is finally here. You reach work early and find yourself a spot…
December 1, 2020 | 4 mins read
The quarterly meeting you’ve been eagerly waiting for is finally here. You reach work early and find yourself a spot in the conference room. A few people are running late, so the meeting doesn’t start on time. When it does start, someone’s phone starts ringing. The meeting doesn’t end on time either. All in all, it’s been a little chaotic and you leave disappointed.
We’ve all been part of unproductive and poorly organized meetings. If you’re looking to improve the efficiency of meetings, you need to start practicing and encouraging good meeting etiquette. Let’s look at the benefits of practicing proper etiquette in professional settings.
Before we explore the meaning of meeting etiquette, let’s understand what ‘etiquette’ means. Etiquette refers to a complex network of unwritten rules that govern social interactions and behavior. It reflects our cultural norms, ethical codes and various social conventions. Respect, kindness and consideration are at the heart of good etiquette. We can master the rules of etiquette to build confidence, improve our social skills and progress professionally.
Meeting etiquette refers to the social conventions that govern the way we interact with others. It’s a highly sought-after social skill in workplaces because efficient business meetings positively impact the productivity and success of any organization. In short, meeting etiquette refers to the standard behavior expected during work meetings. It prompts you to behave professionally and respect others’ time and effort.
Here are a few helpful rules for you to follow that encourage proper etiquette in meetings:
Always be on time. Arrive a few minutes early for meetings so that you have a buffer period. If you find yourself running late, apologize and sit down to avoid interrupting the flow of the meeting.
Go prepared for your meetings. Many meeting organizers send a meeting agenda beforehand to help you prepare and gauge expectations. Follow the action items on the agenda and make sure you have everything ready on your part.
Although many modern organizations don’t enforce or mandate dress codes, you should wear appropriate attire for your meetings. Consult your manager or co-workers if you’re unsure.
Pay attention to your body language. Whether you’re presenting or attending a meeting, you must avoid creating any distractions. For example, tapping your feet repeatedly may be annoying for the speaker.
Speak up so that you’re audible to everyone. If you can’t get your points across clearly, unnecessary conflicts may arise. Moreover, if you speak very softly, you may be misheard or you may not be able to get your point across.
If you were eating, drinking tea or coffee or making notes during the meeting, make sure to clear up after yourself. Wait until after the meeting to throw everything into a dustbin. You don’t want to distract the speaker by making sudden movements when the meeting is in progress.
Work from home has become the new normal and virtual meetings have become a part of our daily work routine. Here are a few tips for maintaining proper etiquette during online meetings:
Test your setup before you join a meeting. Make sure that your internet connection, mic and camera are functioning properly.
Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking. It ensures that there’s no echo and you don’t disrupt the flow of meetings.
It may be tempting to check your phone but try to avoid it so that you are alert and active at all times. Participate in discussions and show anyone who’s speaking that you’re respectfully listening to them.
Following proper meeting room etiquette ensures that the flow of your meeting(s) isn’t interrupted. Here are some other advantages of good meeting etiquette:
When you actively listen and respond to people, it shows that you’re paying attention to them. They’ll feel valued and are more likely to reciprocate by paying attention when you speak.
Meetings are more productive when people have an agenda to follow. They come prepared and steer the discussion based on their queries.
Meeting etiquette helps create good first impressions. When people feel confident about trusting you, it’s easier to build mutually beneficial relationships.
Becoming productive and saving time for others not only reflects professionalism but also promotes the organization’s reputation. Harappa Education’s Practicing Excellence course will teach you how to leave lasting impressions on people. The Four Selfs of Excellence framework will teach you how to present the best version of yourself and make others feel comfortable in your presence. Don’t just impress people with proper etiquette, inspire them!