Monday, July 9, 2012

Channeling Emily Post: Meeting Etiquette

When your team grows beyond a handful and staff members have obligations to multiple projects, inevitably scheduling collaborative meeting time can be tricky. And then "tricky" turns into "frustrating" when common courtesy becomes extinct.

You can help save your coworkers some frustration by keeping in mind a few simple guidelines when it comes to scheduling meetings:
  1. If you receive an appointment request, please respond promptly so that the requester can reschedule if necessary.
  2. Please make sure all time unavailable is recorded on your calendar – out of office, personal appointments, vacation, etc. Even if you're working from home, it's nice for that to be indicated on your calendar because some meetings just can't happen by conference call.
  3. For meetings outside of the office, please make sure the duration of the unavailability includes travel time.
  4. If reserving a conference room, make sure it is included on the appointment, even if it's a spur-of-the-moment meeting.
  5. If you have previously accepted a meeting request and can no longer attend, please decline promptly. Your presence at the meeting may be essential which could require the meeting to be rescheduled.
  6. If you scheduled a meeting and can no longer attend, please cancel promptly so that attendees can remained focused at their current task.
Remember, meetings occupy the time of multiple people. Failing to apply a small amount of consideration can cause a huge waste of time. The wasted time isn't just when staff is sitting around waiting for someone to show up but also in the time that they require shift focus back to their other work. Courtesy also helps to keep meeting productivity maximized by preventing attendees from stewing over other attendees showing up late or not at all.

Update: Read the sequel about etiquette relating to the meeting itself.

1 comment:

  1. Nice set of etiquette! I've been in units with as few as six people and you wouldn't believe how difficult it could be to get all the proper resources together.

    In fact our weekly status meeting would often be minus two or three of us because we were working on pressing issues.