When it comes to either organising a meeting or planning a meeting, there are certain rules should follow when it comes to achieving good business meeting etiquette. You want to build good relationships between colleagues and clients, as these are the people that can influence your success or failure.

Meetings can either be informal, or more formal. Informal meetings may not take place in the office, whereas formal meetings will mostly likely take place in a meeting room, and have a slightly stricter image. However the standard etiquette rules still apply for both meeting environments.

Normally the person who has called the meeting should conduct roles. The main role to be appointed will be the chair person for that meeting. The chair persons role is quite senior as they have to decide the time, place and agenda for that meeting. They also have to make the purpose of the meeting clear to the attending colleagues, how long it will last, and what is expected of them. During the meeting, the chair person must keep to the agenda planned out, trying to stick within the time allocations and try and get away from any tangent subjects that may arise. It is also good etiquette for the chair person to appoint someone to document the outcomes of the meeting, so these can be distributed between the colleagues at the end of the meeting.

The most important rule is to prepare well, days prior to the meeting. Whether you are conducting the meeting or have been invited, you need to plan any information, reports or discussion topics that may arise. If you are the one conducting the meeting you need to make sure the schedule and agenda for the meeting is thoroughly planned; outlining the discussion topics, and time allocations for each point. These need to be distributed to colleagues a couple of days prior to the meeting, so they have time to plan their points around the agreed agenda.

Punctuality is key when it comes to perfecting good etiquette. You should always try to arrive early, that way if the meeting does get underway a little early, you are already there and prepared. During discussions, and topical debates, always allow a more senior member to contribute first, this shows respect for people higher up in the company than you. When you do feel like it’s your appropriate time to speak, speak briefly and clearly, addressing the points you wish to make and remember to never interrupt another colleague when their speaking. This is inconsiderate and rude, and you will be seen as being disrespectful.