Business Meeting Etiquette

Okay, quit rolling your eyes. Everyone needs to read this. Yes, I am talking to you…

You have to be on time to meetings. There are ZERO exceptions. There’s nothing worse than when a meeting’s already started, people are in deep conversation, and then oh…look at that… someone’s walking in late. At this point, all of the meeting attendants are staring at the late person thinking, “Ugh, what a slacker.” Because that’s what you look like when you’re late to a meeting. You look super unprofessional and you look like a total slacker. Not to mention that you’ve now shifted the focus of the meeting from whatever important topic was being discussed to you and your late self. No one likes this, so plan accordingly and don’t be late. If you ARE for some reason going to be late, it’s a good idea to let the meeting organizer know ahead of time. At that point, they can let you know whether or not it’d be worth it for you to attend, and at least if you are late, it’ll be expected.

Paying attention is just as important as being on time. Remember in high school when the teacher would randomly call on students and ask a question mid-lecture? Remember that time your teacher called on you and you hade no idea what what he was asking because you’d been staring off into space for the last thirty minutes, contemplating life, love, and all of your weekend plans? “I’m sorry, what was the question?” Yea, don’t let that be you at a meeting.

If a meeting’s being held, it’s because there’s something that needs to be discussed, or something that needs to be communicated (otherwise, there shouldn’t be a meeting in the first place.) So the point of you being invited to the meeting is for you to contribute and provide value. If you’re on your phone, answering e-mails, playing with your Apple Watch, or doodling pretty flowers on your agenda, making no effort to pay attention to what’s going on, why the heck are you wasting your time being there?

If you’re at a meeting, you’re expected to pay attention. It’s really that simple. But dude, I’ve been at meetings and witnessed the big guys— the Directors, VPs, and CEOs— scrolling through Facebook and answering e-mails. I always laugh when I see this, because it’s us young people that usually get the bad reputation of always being on our phones and not paying attention. But really, if even the leadership’s participating in that kind of behavior, what kind of example are they setting? It’s almost like they think that answering e-mails on their Blackberries during meetings makes it seem like they’re super important. We have so much to do, so we have to answer e-mails during meetings! Sorry but no, if you’re at a meeting, your focus should be on the meeting, that’s it. And if you’re just too busy and have too much to do, excuse yourself from the meeting, and have someone else fill you in later.

It’s called manners, people. Whoever’s holding the meeting put time, effort, and energy into making sure that it runs smoothly, so that person really deserves your respect. Think about it. How would you like it if you were holding a meeting, spent all night preparing for it, and all you see is the guy in the backseat with his head down sleeping, the guy in front of him drawing pictures on his notepad, the lady to the right of him scrolling through her Pinterest account and her friend next to her, reading and answering e-mails? You wouldn’t like it, would you? Nope, I didn’t think so. I know you’re dying to know how many people have liked the Instagram picture you just posted, but it can wait a little while longer, I promise.

Rant over.

Love & Sparkle,



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