Wednesday 25 July 2007

Business Principles: Meeting Etiquette

Our attitude, disposition, presence, and attire say a lot about who we are and whom we represent.

When we are in a meeting with a client or potential client, the above can make or break their impression of us or our impression of them.

We all know that there is a competition for our attention.

However, the person, or the matter we are focused upon while in a meeting also says a lot about who we are.

There are a number of visual clues that can indicate who or what our priorities are:
  • A PDA/messaging device sitting face up in front of us so we can see its messages.
  • A PDA/messaging device that is left in vibrate mode.
  • Sending a text message while the meeting is going on.
  • Answering or initiating a cell phone conversation.
  • And so on...
There are legitimate client, or other, needs that may necessitate giving some of our attention to our devices while in the meeting such as:
  • A client's server being nursed back to health.
  • A client data recovery going on.
  • A client critical situation of some sort.
A courtesy to the others in the meeting would be to ask everyone before the meeting starts if they would please excuse a possible interruption because we have a critical situation on the go. An additional courtesy would be to give a short reason for the possible interruption.

These simple courtesies will go a long way towards winning a deep respect from those present in the meeting with us.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


bizmanners said...

Bravo! As an etiquette consultant I couldn't have said it any better!

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

Thank you very much!

It is an honour to receive such a compliment from an etiquette specialist. :)


Anonymous said...

Great blog, Philip. I recently conducted a little experiment about Board meeting etiquette and the results I posted on my blog have a lot in common with what you've written about. I think you make a good point about being courteous and respectful by not letting yourself get distracted by your PDA. That drives me nuts when I'm in meetings.

Keep up the good work!

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


I have now made a point of asking for all personal communication devices to be put away, or turned off prior to beginning the meeting.

The other option is a portable Faraday Cage! ;)