the 8 most important rules of business meeting etiquette 870x430

The 8 Most Important Rules of Business Meeting Etiquette

Another meeting that could have been an email? Perhaps. But what about these other meetings, the ones that seal deals, ignite sales and bonuses or change a company’s strategic outlook? Very few important decisions will ever be made without some sort of face-to-face interaction. This is why it’s important to show up and make a good impression. Our helpful guide on business meeting etiquette will help you navigate even the trickiest situation.

Manners maketh meeting

1. Come prepared and on time
If you’re the host, send a meeting invitation that includes the agenda and make arrangements for attendees with special requirements or those joining remotely. If you’re on the receiving end, read the agenda, confirm your attendance and, if asked to speak, prepare in advance to avoid wasting people’s time.

2. Dress to command respect
First impressions are very important and people will make assumptions about your level of expertise and decision making power based on what you wear. Our collection of business suits and ties has everything you need to ace the boardroom look.

3. Who am I speaking to?
If you’re the host, begin with brief introductions starting with the highest ranking person in the room. If you’re one of the attendees and you’re asked to introduce yourself, keep it brief and relevant to the purpose of the meeting.

4. Let me just take this call
Your mobile phone must be on silent and out of sight. In fact, all our suit jackets come with a handy inside pocket where your phone can rest during the meeting. Replying to a message, taking a call or checking your mates’ insta photos is just rude but, in the case of an actual emergency, offer a brief apology and exit the room as quietly as possible.

5. Be present but not annoying
Some people take the power game a bit too literally. It’s important to sit up straight but don’t elbow people or invade their personal space. Speak your mind but don’t take over from the host, interrupt or attempt to mansplain. Other attendees may stare at you blankly before deciding to exclude you from all future decision making.

6. What’s for lunch?
Unless the meeting invitation clearly states that eating is welcome, do not munch away. No one wants to smell your food, watch or hear you chew and, more importantly, no one can concentrate while your fork aggressively chases that last bean in the bowl.

7. Your poor nerves
Sometimes meetings are triumphant affairs. Other times, things turn ugly. People come up with ridiculous ideas, stick to their guns leaving no room for discussion or, even, try to push your buttons to find your breaking point. When this happens, it’s important to remember that you’re a gentleman and success is a marathon, not a sprint.

8. Curtain call
When the meeting concludes, and this must always happen by the agreed time, the chair will thank all attendees and indicate what the next steps are. Leave the meeting promptly after thanking the chair, otherwise people might assume you don’t have enough work to keep you busy.

Navigating the workspace is as complicated as any human interaction, except the stakes are often higher and, if you put a foot wrong, you may not get a second chance. Some common sense, a stylish business suit and a basic understanding of etiquette will help you manage any situation and build a solid professional reputation.