The New Rules of Meeting Room Etiquette

The New Rules of Meeting Room Etiquette

Whether you like them or not, meetings are a necessary part of every manager’s life. Yet with the proliferation of devices, as well as the trend to more casual and collaborative work environments, meeting etiquette isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. For example, is it acceptable to look at your messages on your phone? Should you take notes on your computer? And if you’re meeting with your supervisor or other higher-ups, what’s the dress code? 

While getting meeting room etiquette right will help you make a good impression, getting it wrong could be costly for your career. Read on to learn the new rules of meeting room etiquette.

  1. Be prepared. Whether you’re presenting during the meeting or are there to listen to others, make sure to prepare properly. Review the agenda ahead of time and bring all of the materials or assets you need.
  2. Adhere to the dress code. Especially if you’re meeting with your higher-ups, it’s wise to make sure you don’t dress too casually. If you’re uncertain about the dress code, ask the person organizing the meeting what will be expected. 

  3. Make introductions correctly. If there are people who haven’t met before, make introductions. According to Vivian Giang in her Business Insider article “10 Etiquette Rules for Meetings That Every Professional Should Know,” you should introduce people according to rank, starting with the highest rank.

  4. Put your phone away. It’s not only a distraction for you — it can also interrupt the meeting. Of course, if you’re dealing with a professional or personal emergency, you can simply inform everyone that you might need to answer your phone. If this does happen, be polite and step outside to take the call. 

  5. Tell people if you’re going to take notes on a device. In her Inc. article titled “Business Meeting Etiquette: 8 Pet Peeves,” Janine Popick advises letting people know if you want to use your laptop, tablet or smartphone to take notes. That way, they won’t think you’re doing something else. 

  6. Understand that walking or standing meetings are still meetings. Perhaps your boss wants to lead a walking meeting in a nearby park or maybe your supervisor wants to hold a standing meeting in the lobby. Even though you’re not in a meeting room, you should still adhere to the dress code, prepare properly and conduct yourself professionally.

If you keep these six rules in mind, you stand a good chance of avoiding meeting pitfalls and instead, making a good impression that can help you advance your career. After all, while meeting etiquette might change over time, moving your career forward is likely a constant endeavour.