Etiquette Friday – Attending MeetingsBy Angela Marshall, 25th May 2012
is Part of Your Image
It’s Friday and the day I request you join me in my campaign for 2012 to change “Casual Friday” to “Etiquette Friday”, to get people and companies involved. If we consciously make an effort every Friday then hopefully it will become a habit every day. I challenge you to make one small change a week and by the end of the year let’s hope we have a more pleasant and positive society.
In a meeting you reveal a lot about yourself and your potential. It is an ideal time to demonstrate your leadership skills and your ability to interact with others. You can also show whether you can be trusted with further responsibilities. An effective meeting makes the most of the time, has a concise agenda and ensures that only participants who are productive or appropriate to the subjects attend.
What to think about:
- R.S.V.P. – If a reply is requested to an invitation to a meeting, always reply. It is a good habit to reply to any invitation you receive.
- Arrive early and always on time. If unforeseen circumstances occur then ensure you give your apology to the Chair at an appropriate moment, whether that is when you arrive or at a later time.
- Be prepared – understand the purpose of the meeting, always go prepared and take pen and paper.
- Turn off electronic devices or put your mobile on silent. Do not check emails, messages or speak on the phone during the meeting.
- Keep an open mind, don’t take things personally, keep calm and stay composed.
- Be a good listener, place value on your time and the other participants.
- Pay attention and avoid any nervous habits.
- Seating – Avoid sitting opposite anyone you might not get on with or have had a confrontation with; sit on the same side as them, and two places away. If you want attention, sit opposite the Chair.
- Contribute – ensure you join in discussions, add value and show your knowledge.
- Thank the Chair before you leave.
Attending meetings can be nerve wracking, especially if you are new to it or with senior people. By arriving early you have an opportunity to introduce yourself to people and make conversation. It helps you to relax and also get to know other attendees. Practice, practice, practice and you will become more professional and find it easier.
We all need reminders about the correct and appropriate way to conduct ourself in a meeting. Remember to smile, it fosters goodwill in business and is a sign of friendship.