Ten minutes to 10 AM and Derrick was seated at his desk working to build the nation. I try to call him twenty minutes from the time I saw him, but he auto replies with the ‘in a meeting’ text. When I saw him during lunch he explained that he was dragged into an impromptu meeting that to be honest, he had no input/ business being there. To make matters worse, what was supposed to be a 10 minutes meeting extended to an hour. We all have that colleague who will drag you into meetings that you had no reason being in.
Here are some business meeting etiquette that you could use in your organization to make it a more meeting friendly environment.
How to schedule a meeting
- Plan ahead; this may seem automatic but you will be shocked at the number of people who set meetings without verbally confirming availability of the attendees, call all participants and agree on a time suitable for all.
- Venue; Find out the availability of the boardroom/meeting room which will accommodate the number of attendees. Something key to note is, know your audience and find out what appeals to them. I know of people who will come to a meeting just because I offered cookies and tea.
- Invite; Most corporates have internet applications that allow various members to send and synchronize their calendar meetings, send notifications and prompt a confirmation to the meeting. In the invite, remember to clearly define the agenda of the meeting. This is to ensure that the meeting starts on time and doesn’t digress to irrelevant topics.
- Minute writing; Always have a template that you will use to record topics discussed and action points for the things discussed with a clear definition of the attendee responsible.
- Next meeting; as part of the adjournment, ask the attendees of a suitable date and time to schedule the next meeting.
Follow this simple steps for scheduling your meetings and see the business have meaningful and focused meetings.