Meeting Etiquette

One of the things I really got ingrained in my habit while working at Bank of America was the respect of other people’s time.  Especially in fast moving projects this is a very important thing to practice.  While working at BoA one could literally be let go if they did not respect other people’s time when scheduling meetings and other such time consuming, yet much needed, work related events.  I was digging around some material I had found in storage a few weeks ago and it got me thinking about this.  The core facet of this trait is simply, “respect other people’s time“.  Everything about one’s work habit within a team should encompass this.  The core idea behind this trait is, “empowering the individual” and is simply part of a “meritocracy” based environment.

  • Don’t be late to a meeting.  Not even a few seconds.  The only acceptable arrival times is at the scheduled time or before.
  • If you’re going to be late notify well before the meeting and be sure to give an ETA so an accurate rescheduling decision can occur.
  • Make sure to send any notices for a meeting well in advance of a meeting.  (2-4 hours minimum)  Otherwise expect nothing more than a quick conversation of 5 minutes or less.
  • Take into account other people’s meeting schedules.  Don’t double, triple, or otherwise book people.  Even if you’re the boss, don’t do this without notifying the person of their priority, or asking what their priorities are for the day.
  • Make sure to have clearly defined topics and understand the objectives and goals of the meeting.  Do NOT go to a meeting and just start conversation on a “cloudy” or unclear topic.
  • Do not surpass the scheduled meeting time.  If you think you need time, schedule as much of it as you believe will be needed to cover the topics.
  • Preferably take meeting minutes and designate a specific individual to meeting minutes.
  • Make every attempt to stay on topic during a meeting.  If one leaves topic, have a designated topic watcher to maintain the flow of the meeting (the meeting minutes person usually is good at this).

Those are the summarized meeting points for the material I found.  I’ve blogged because I think this is a highly underrated trait, often unnoticed these days, and even more so unnoticed on the west coast for some reason.  However the amount of productivity lost to non-punctual, unscheduled, off topic meetings is massive.

kick it on