We’ve all attended or set up a meeting at some point. Whether it’s a meeting to discuss a new project or you’re just meeting up with with a friend to catch up.
I attend a lot of meetings. Any given week I’m in eight or more meetings.
Because I’m protective of my time and I spend so much time in meetings (creating invites, accepting invites, and attending) I wanted to share some meeting etiquette that I try to follow religiously.
Don’t Be Late
It’s simple. You know what time the meeting starts. Do not be late. If you just wasting your own time that would be fine, but but now you’re wasting other people’s time. Don’t do that.
If it’s out of your control and you’re running late - and believe me this will happen to you - get in touch with at least one person in that meeting letting them know that you’re running late and how late you’ll be. This way they at least know how long they have to wait. If they can start without you also let them know.
Don’t make being late a habit.
On Changing The Meeting Time
If you created an event and you need to change the timing of it don’t just update the time of the meeting in the calendar invite (that is unless of course it’s only a few minutes after you created it). Other people made it a point to make themselves available for you. Let them know why you have to change the time. Odds are they won’t mind too much, but updating the time without a reason won’t win you any favors or fans.
If you accepted the meeting invite and now for some reason can’t make it to the meeting let the event creator know if they can have it without you. If you’re critical to the meeting then offer up alternative times that work for everyone.
Invite The Right People
This is far less relevant for personal meetings. If you’ve thought long and hard still are convince that you need to have a meeting make sure to invite the right people. There’s nothing worse than a few minutes into the meeting realizing that the right people aren’t in the room. Do your homework, ask around, make sure you have the right group of people together.
This is a bit of a tough one. My friend Brad wrote a great post about this that you can read here. It’s so tempting to just check your email, just respond to a message, or just check Twitter during a meeting. But it’s also rude. You agreed to spend a certain amount of time doing something. If you don’t want to be there do not be there. Figure out an alternative to a meeting.
These best practices for meetings aren’t hard to follow and are really basic. Which is why I’m continuously surprised that so many people don’t follow them.