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March 25, 2015

Dos and Don’ts of Meetings

We almost always default to ‘let’s book a meeting to discuss X’ in business, but is that always the right approach and if so, how should we behave? It’s a given that we form our opinions of people we meet in the first 7-10 seconds, so first impressions really are crucial. It doesn’t end there, however. How we behave day-to-day in business can really affect our working relationships. So, if you do have to organise or attend a meeting, make sure you get it right!

Before a meeting

– If you can secure the desired outcome without a meeting, DO!
– Inform all required attendees with as much notice as possible, including the logistical details and the reason for their requested presence.
– Prepare – beforehand! Ask attendees to prepare too.
– Circulate an agenda in advance
– Select a leader/chairperson/minute-taker/scribe, as applicable, in advance
– Confirm attendance beforehand

After a meeting

– Circulate minutes and actions, with deadlines
– Follow-up appropriately

Dos and don’ts of meeting


Be punctual
Stand up
Shake hands!
Bring ideas
Pay attention
Listen more than you talk
Put all your devices away
Ensure your phone is on silent
Leave your emotions outside
Speak clearly


Don’t be late!
Don’t interrupt
Don’t have side conversations
Don’t ask irrelevant questions
Don’t yawn!
Don’t wait for latecomers
Don’t mute a conference call
Don’t leave the room
Don’t eat – unless it’s a lunch!

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