Day#121: Meeting etiquette

Day#121: Meeting etiquette

I have worked at a multitude of companies, I think for one of my posts in the future I will go through each position I have held and discuss what the advantages and disadvantages in the position were for me. For now know that I have noticed a few similarities at most companies. That is the concept of having long drawn out meetings, I once even worked at a company where Saturdays was an extra work day with meetings to be held on this day because the owner was only available for discussions on this day. From the get go this created a very negative environment, staff were in a rushed mind set to try get their meeting with the owner done so they could finally start their weekend. The result was people including yours truly often did not mention every single item on the agenda trying to round off the meeting to get home to relax and start their actual weekends.

 

On the other hand I have also experienced people who don’t understand correct meeting etiquette, not following an agenda or bringing up unrelated content which drags the meeting on. As much as we all have an opinion, it is something to be noted that you don’t always have to share your opinion if it is not relevant, with that here are my meeting steps for ensuring a productive meeting

 

  • When setting up a meeting ensure that you have invited all relevant parties, nothing worse than starting office politics by not inviting the correct people to the meeting
  • Dependant on the company culture speak with everyone and ask for a few different times that everyone is available for meetings. I have had senior managers who demand immediate meetings when they have received bad feedback from their senior management, you want to harbor positive relationships with your colleagues and staff so rather speak with them after you have calmed down from being reprimanded or informed of something negative.
  • I have also liked being notified about meetings in advance, it makes employees feel as if senior management values their time and schedule.
  • Send meeting requests using one of the many platforms for incorporating meetings into calendars so that everyone gets a reminder shortly before the meeting starts, here you can include links and other resource that attendees need to check before the meeting as well.
  • Another topic to mention is the way in which you bring or take your notes during the meeting. I have had companies where people stare at you when you are taking notes on your phone, so try say in a casual way before the meeting starts to someone close by that you will be taking notes on your phone. It may just depend on the company though because old fashioned companies will still see this as “rude” even though you have said you will take your notes in this fashion. Ironically I never have the same people stare when I take notes on my iPad and I could very well be doing non work related things on my iPad as well.
  • Now onto meeting etiquette, as I said above try stick to the topic at hand when in a meeting. It is really counter-intuitive if every person in the meeting goes off on a tangent that is irrelevant to the subject matter that the meeting was held for. I honestly rehearse everything in my head before saying it aloud. I also wait till everyone has said their piece instead of interrupting anyone. The reason for this is because some valuable points can be said when you listen that could change your comment.
  • When you want to add your comment and if you know it directly conflicts others in the meeting, have the confidence to speak up but still maintain a level of professionalism. There is no need for a personal attack when stating your comment so mention the facts related to the topic or possibly think about mentioning it in a follow up mail if you know it can cause too much of a stir in the meeting.

All in all stay organised and good luck for your next meeting!

Bye for now

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