Office employees and business people attend meetings regularly. A meeting is a form of discussion over particular agenda where involved individuals are required to attend and brainstorm ideas. A facilitator is tasked to preside a meeting to generate a smooth flow and avoid conflict from start to finish.
Despite its being a regular undertaking, not everyone likes to be part of meetings. There are individuals who hate the boredom and dullness in meetings. That is why some attendees would opt to keep silent the whole time rather than engage in the exchange of opinions. However, considering the fact that you are a career individual, observing proper etiquette in a meeting is still an important aspect of a professional.
Proper Etiquette for a Meeting Attendee
If you are to participate in office meetings or a meeting with a client, always know and follow the basic guidelines. Being punctual is already a given in all meetings and gatherings. Nothing much can be said for latecomers. Before coming to the venue, be prepared. Know the agenda and read any helpful material for review. Be ready with a pen and notebook in case there are important notes to take.
During the discussion, show participation at all times. Offer feedback or share your opinions to the group and ask questions. Do not be completely passive as it may give a negative impression from the participants especially if it is a client meeting. In fact, being in a meeting is your chance to showcase your abilities and knowledge.
Always maintain courtesy and attentiveness in a meeting. When someone is voicing out opinions, do not interrupt the person or chat with a colleague. Listen intently as a sign of respect to the speaker. Lastly, when the meeting adjourns, do not forget to thank the facilitator or meeting organizer.
Proper Etiquette for the Meeting Facilitator
Being the chairperson in a meeting is not an easy job. But observing the right meeting etiquettes still helps keep the composure. As the facilitator, preparation is the key to a successful meeting. So, plan things ahead before notifying the involved participants. In the meeting request, clearly indicate the meeting agenda so the attendees can prepare on how to address stated issues. The meeting timeline must also be stated in the invitation. Setting time limit shows high consideration for the other appointments and activities of your work colleagues or your clients.
Appropriate attire in a meeting is crucial especially if you are the facilitator. Business attire will generate respect from the participants. Tardiness is a big humiliation and disgrace on a meeting in-charge. It is wise never to be late in your own meeting.
During the meeting proper, be mindful of your obligations and responsibilities as the chairperson. Make sure the group discussion is within the agenda. Apart from that, you need to keep track of time during the entire session. Prevent any potential arguments to arise by supervising the exchange of ideas and seeing to it that everyone gets the chance to speak.
Do not forget to summarize the general flow of the meeting as part of wrapping it up. Finally, before concluding the meeting, extend your thanks to everyone for the presence and participation.
General Ground Rules in a Meeting
Meeting ground rules set the ease of facilitation for the chairperson and participation of the attendees. These codes of conduct are general etiquettes for everyone to adhere to in order to maintain a respectable environment in a meeting.
If you received a meeting request in your office but cannot make it due to prior appointments, make sure to properly decline the invitation by informing the meeting organizer through email or phone call. Mobile phones must be strictly turned off or set to silent mode. If the meeting restricts laptops or other devices to be brought in, then follow the rule. Formal corporate meetings do require laptops most of the time.
The meeting facilitator must make sure that the meeting starts and ends on time. So, all meeting participants must also have a sense of responsibility by arriving before or upon the scheduled time. Everyone should observe proper etiquette in both verbal and nonverbal communication. Be professional in your choice of words and use nonverbal signals properly to convey your message.