Most of us in fact would have spent half of our time this year hopping from one meeting to another. However, the good news is meetings are here to stay. And despite all the email, work communication apps, social media, WhatsApp and Skype calls available, face-to-face usually gets things solved faster and more efficiently. And, that is why 2017 is going to be no different. So, why not upgrade our boardroom skills this New Year rather than cribbing about it? After all, how you conduct yourself during meetings may leave a lasting impression. Here are 8 boardroom etiquettes that will help you click instantly this New Year
Always be an early bird
You might have attended hundreds of meetings till date. Even then, you have to be on time for each of your meetings. Making anyone waste their time waiting for you is the worst thing to do. Punctuality is valued across sectors and cultures.
Barbara Pachter, career coach and author of the book The Essentials Of Business Etiquette, says, “If everyone doesn’t know one another in the meeting room, you need to make introductions. You should do this by starting with the person of the highest rank first. For example, “Ms. Greater Importance, I would like you to meet Mr. Lesser Importance.”
It’s a meeting not a monologue
Boardroom bigmouths prefer to talk over others and dominate the conversation. Avoid being that person. Don’t stop others at the middle of their sentence. You may be the most eloquent person, but that doesn’t mean you don’t let others speak. If you are someone who cannot stop talking, plan out an agenda before hand and stick to it.
Short and simple always works
It’s better to keep your points short and simple, so as not to lose the interest of the others in the room. Keep your content engaging and to the point and others will appreciate what you have to say more.
Keep your phones on silent mode
Cell phones should be off or on silent. It is very offensive and impolite for your phone to ring whilst you are in a board meeting. Also, you shouldn’t text or check social media frequently when the meeting is on.
Keep your hands on the table
Hands belong on the boardroom table, not on your lap. This is much more authoritative and, shows you are not “under handed”. Keeping your hands on the table will project you as a confident person.
Do not slump, make eye-contact
You should have a proper posture at the conference table. Do not lean over or yawn or slump when seated at the table. It not only makes you look very inattentive but the person making presentation will believe that he or she has bored you with his presentation. Sit focused forward and make eye contact with those at the furthest end of the room. Wait an extra 2 to 3 seconds as you gaze at each, making them feel as though you are truly regarding them and, move on. Continue until you have made eye contact with everyone.
Clean up when the meeting concludes
When the meeting gets over, push your chair in and take your empty water bottle or coffee cup with you as you leave. Cleaning up yourself says a lot about how you will treat others on the job, particularly your peers and subordinates. No one wants to clean up someone else’s mess. If you cannot clean up or do not have ready access to cleaning supplies, inform the receptionist or the operator of the space. Whatever you do, never leave the mess for the next person to clean.
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