The business world needs a completely different approach to how you handle your everyday life if you’re wanting to succeed. It’s like there’s a whole different language to it, and psychology behind it, that you need to understand. While we could try and go through it all, that would take pages and pages of explanations, so we’ve just outlined how to get through a professional business meeting scenario instead. Hopefully it can be a good starting point to welcome you to the business world!
Mingle with others – Before the meeting starts, if the opportunity presents itself approach others and make introductions.
Be concise – Say what you need to say and don’t blab about unnecessary information or start repeating yourself.
Always stand when you’re being introduced to someone – Standing helps establish a presence, and its polite. Also the higher-ranking person should initiate a handshake.
Be on time – Don’t be the classic late one, you don’t want to waste anyone’s time by not being punctual.
Sit appropriately – Adjust your chair so you’re at equal height with everyone else if you can. Both men and women should avoid crossing their legs as it can be distracting and possibly even too sexy for a professional setting.
Dress appropriately – Clothing is known to enhance a person’s professional reputation, or it can detract from his or her credibility. Always find out what the dress code is and dress accordingly.
Never pull out someone’s chair for them – It’s okay to hold open a door for others, but don’t go over the top and start pulling out seats for people to sit in; that’s more restaurant behaviour!
Come prepared – Know what the meeting is about and know your part. Be prepared to ask and answer questions.
Understand unwritten speaking rules – Speak up so people can hear you, and speak early on in the meeting too. Remember it’s not polite to interrupt others, but if you have to get your opinion heard then try to pick a pause in the conversation.
Don’t eat, only drink coffee or water – Unless it’s a lunch or dinner meeting, avoid eating at the table. It is disruptive and can smell. Clean up after yourself and leave things as you found them.
Do not have your phone out – Don’t keep your phone on the table as it can be distracting if it keeps lighting up or vibrating. Leave the room if you absolutely must take a call or return a message.
Don’t save all your questions for the end – Ask your questions at the appropriate time. You don’t want to be that person who questions everything at the end when people are shuffling ready to go.