How To Hold A Meeting
How To Hold A Meeting
Phyllis Davis (Business Etiquette Consultant) gives expert video advice on: What is the proper length for a meeting?; How does seating etiquette work in a meeting?; What is the appropriate way to end a meeting? and more...
What are the proper components of a meeting?
There are too many meetings in business, and the complaint is, too little gets done. Too many people get invited that should not have been invited to certain business meetings. So the ideal meetings are just to involve the key players that are going to present the tasks, and invite people prepared. This is a problem today because people don't like to come to meetings prepared. They're willing to show up and react, but there's more to meetings than that. The meeting leaders should be very careful about inviting people, and very careful about engaging their participation. They should always tell everyone in the meeting what happened, as a follow-up, through an e-mail. That's one of the complaints I hear often, that they don't ever know what happens in those meetings, that they went, and did their little task, but they didn't know what happened. So keep people informed. And serving snacks before a meeting is a good idea, just as it's a good draw to get people to a business meeting.
What is the proper length for a meeting?
Seventy minutes is my idea of how long a meeting should go. It's a good time to give what I call a biological needs break, for people to go to the washroom, or so they can pick up their cell phones. Remember we are addicted to technology, it's an addiction that we need to check that cell phone, we need to check our e-mail to see if anybody's looking for us. So seventy minutes is a good length of time to hold a business meeting, so they can then get back and you can have sandwiches brought in and you can have fruit or something to get people's blood sugar back up, so that they can continue to participate in the business meeting.
In American business etiquette, what are the responsibilities of a meeting leader?
In American business etiquette, the responsibilities of a meeting leader is to engage everybody and provide plenty of follow up notice. If you've got an interdepartmental meeting, the notice can be that afternoon. If it's a meeting with someone from a different part of the campus, a day's notice is appreciated. If it's a meeting with a senior executive on that campus I think a week's notice is appropriate. If they're someone from out of town, two week's notice is appropriate so they can make the travel arrangements back and forth for the meeting. As a meeting leader you should create a clear agenda as I'm a big believer in a clear agenda. Email that to everyone before the meeting, have copies of it waiting for you while you have your meeting. Greet people at the door when they walk in the door to have the business meeting. Thank everyone for coming and have snacks that are served 15 minutes before the meeting. Make your points, invite participation, assign tasks, thank people and then close the meeting. Send a follow up email to everyone and let them know what happened at the meeting. These are the responsibilities of a business meeting leader.
How does seating etiquette work in a meeting?
Seating etiquette in a company is always tricky. If you're new in the company, don't walk into a meeting and expect to sit anywhere. Ask the meeting leader where you should sit. Often times meetings are choreographed, for example if there are adversaries in a meeting its best to sit them on either side of each other with someone in the middle so they're not looking at each other across the table. And if you are new in your company, or you are a young employee, ask the meeting leader where to sit. Also in a meeting, the client, the most important person in the room, sits to the right of the meeting leader. So either it'll be your boss or the client or the clients boss or someone that's of power there. So don't just assume that you can sit anywhere, and beware of etiquette in a business meeting.