Meetings can be constructive and bring a project forward. They can, however, also be annoying and time consuming. Even if a meeting seems endless and boring, there are rules to which you should definitely adhere. Find out in Business Etiquette Meetings what you should never do.
Never arrive late
It is very important to come to meetings on time. Don’t leave your colleagues waiting around for nothing. It’s best to arrive to the meeting room five minutes before the meeting starts. If you organized the meeting, prepare all the documents and the equipment needed (computer, projector, whiteboard…) so that you can start in good time.
Put away your smartphone
Using your smartphone during a meeting is considered extremely impolite. Shut it off completely, or turn off the ringer. You’re best off leaving it in your office and not even taking it into the meeting room. If you’re expecting a call, definitely let the chairperson know beforehand, and leave the room as soon as you receive the call.
Talking with your neighbour
Just after the weekend, you’ll of course have a lot to talk about, but you should avoid talking with your neighbour in the meeting room. It is impolite and inconsiderate towards your colleagues and especially towards the speaker. Your colleagues might even become insecure and think “Are they talking about me? What did I do wrong?”. Save the conversation for before or after the meeting.
No matter how much a colleague’s monologue gets on your nerves, let him finish speaking. Don’t interrupt others. That creates heated discussions and a bad mood. Should your colleague not manage to finish up and get to the point, you may signalize with a gesture that you have a question. That way, it will become clear to the speaker that he should finish speaking.
Don’t stuff your face
At some meetings, especially when customers or business partners are in the building, there are little snacks. However, these snacks aren’t an invitation to stuff yourself. Even if you’re really hungry, show some restraint. Have breakfast before the meeting or eat a small snack. By the way, it’s a total no-go to stand up and get yourself something to eat.
You’ve surely experienced meetings that go on longer than planned. Don’t just leave the room. The organizer of the meeting will end it. Only if you have an important (customer) appointment directly afterward is it ok to leave the meeting early. Let the chairperson know beforehand.
Even if it’s difficult to pay close attention the whole time, you have to stay awake and not fall asleep during the meeting. Follow along during the meeting and move around a bit before the meeting. That helps to combat tiredness. Nothing is more unpleasant than having to yawn the whole way through the meeting – very rude!
Watch your body language
Whether you want to or not, your body language is constantly sending nonverbal messages. Our bodies reveal when we’re bored or annoyed, and others can sometimes recognize it easily. Use targeted posture, mimicry and gestures in the meeting. In principle, you should take a confident posture, smile, breathe slowly and evenly, and don’t get caught up in situations. Put these tips into practice even if you’re boiling mad inside.