For many professionals, meetings are an unavoidable part of their daily work life. In fact, some executives may find they spend as much as half of their time on the clock in meetings.
Ensuring that business meetings are effective, requires the elimination of as many distractions as possible. Here are five things to avoid doing in business meetings that should always be practiced.
When it comes to checking your phone repeatedly, the etiquette is straightforward — don’t do it in a business meeting! If you're constantly checking your phone during a meeting, it gives the speaker the impression that whatever you’re looking at on your phone is more important than what the person is saying. Unless you’re awaiting word regarding a major life event, turn your phone off and devote your full attention to the meeting you’re attending.
While there is no rule of business meeting etiquette that says you shouldn’t use a laptop or tablet to take notes during a meeting, that doesn’t give you license to do other work during a professional get-together. It’s okay to type out notes about a few key points. It’s not permissible to click away nonstop at your keyboard to wrap up another project, however. The mere sound of you typing may distract and/or irritate other attendees so use your keyboard sparingly, and only when you want to make notes regarding the topic at hand.
Unless you’re attending a meeting that revolves around a meal, it’s wise to refrain from eating. If you simply can’t resist having a bite to eat until after a meeting is over, try these tips for a business meeting:
Choose fare that’s not offensive in any way, such as having a strong overpowering smell or extremely messy. An example of what not to eat is BBQ chicken wings while eating a granola bar is more suitable.
Make sure you can eat your food silently.
Bring hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands before shaking hands with others at the end of the meeting.
Even if you think an upcoming meeting is a waste of time, you need to refrain from showing any signs of displeasure, boredom or exhaustion during the meeting. If you exhibit any of those things, you’ll come across as unprofessional, and you’ll run the risk of insulting the presenter.
When you constantly shift positions or move around incessantly during a meeting, you’ll distract your coworkers, and you may interrupt the presentation. Leaving a meeting prematurely for any reason other than an emergency is disrespectful. If you must leave briefly, leave your notebook or laptop behind as a sign that you’ll return as soon as possible.
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Topics: meetings and events