Here is our list of top etiquette ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for your future business meetings. Ensure you read it carefully!
Turn phones to silent or vibrate, so that they do not ring. If you are in a meeting and the phone does ring, immediately turn it off. You should certainly never answer it at the table. If the call is urgent, discreetly excuse yourself and leave the room.
Also remember the importance of punctuality. If 11am is the scheduled time of the meeting, for example, get there at least ten minutes in advance. Timekeeping is essential in business, so think of the situation as the opposite to a social situation, where it may be considered polite to turn up ten minutes late.
It is also important to signal your interest in the people who you are with, which is certainly not done by constantly checking your phone, which risks damaging your respect and credibility.
Close the laptop
You should also ensure that you keep your laptop closed. Having it open suggests that you have no interest in listening to the other people at the meeting, unless it is being used for reference as part of the meeting.
Another increasingly popular habit is the chewing of gum in meetings, which again, is not recommended.
When you go on foreign trips, take your time to research the customs of that country. You can massively offend people in the Middle East, for example, merely by sitting with the soles of your shoes showing, so customs may differ greatly in your host country from those in Britain.
Always ensure, too, that you are always seen to be paying attention to the person talking to you at the meeting – regardless of how bored you may actually be!
Greet with Care!
Finding the appropriate greeting is another area in which etiquette mistakes can be made. Don’t hug or kiss someone you have never previously met. Just greet them with a handshake.
Speaking of handshakes, yours should be good and firm, being neither too weak nor too strong. Shake with one hand and leave your left hand by your side, rather than putting it on their arm or over their other hand. It is well worth practising your handshake with friends and family members who can give you appropriate feedback, as the wrong handshake can set the wrong tone for themeeting.
It is also important to remember the simple skill of saying thank you. This can be done by writing a quick letter or email after the meeting, which can make a hugely positive impression on your host.
When you arrange business meetings , you need to prepare well in order to ensure that it is as successful as it can possibly be. We can help.0