Herb Cohen, USA, the world’s foremost expert on the art of negotiation, shared some formal meeting rules. Read and download for free.
Why Follow Rules in a Meeting?
Following rules keep pretty much everything in order. Generally, rules often create an ideal environment for people to co-exist, thus creating order and peace especially in a topic like this where we have professionals from different fields.
If you want to take your conversation to the next level in a meeting, you must create a first impression by following the specific rules for a formal meeting before you take it one step up.
In this article, I will open up to you the strict rules and orders to follow in a formal meeting. This article expresses the rules and ethics in both physical and virtual meetings.
So let’s get straight into it…
10 Formal Meeting Rules
Mind the Time!
Be on time, or be 5 minutes early if possible. No one likes to wait or listen to stupid excuses… Appreciate others time & schedule by being on time and finishing on time.
Herb Cohen, USA, the world’s foremost expert on the art of negotiation, shared how one person called another a liar at a summit.
“We were supposed to begin at 10.00 A.M, and three of us were present at that time. While waiting for the fourth person to arrive, those already present kept glancing at their watches.
Finally, twenty-five minutes after the hour, Mr. Tardy walks in”.
“Ahem, I’d like to apologize somewhat for being a bit late,” he said. He didn’t stop there. “Although it looks like I’m twenty minutes late, I’m really not” When I first got…
Truly, we realized we were dealing with a person who was immature and unreliable. Unintentionally, he had affected the level of trust.”
What should he have done?
✒If you are twenty-five minutes late, you ought to say, “Please forgive me. I’m terribly sorry for keeping you waiting. I’m almost an hour late.
✒Everyone is busy. When you are late, the other person feels devalued. Being late says, my time is more important than yours. If this happens, you need to call and be responsible for your actions. Don’t make excuses, just be straight. “I am running 25 minutes late”
Check Your Attire!
Always do your research to be sure you present a relatable visual image to your audience.
✒Even if the future looks bright, please avoid wearing sunglasses on your head or face during a business meeting. Worse, you could be viewed as untrustworthy in certain industries and cultures.
Silent or Switch Off your Cell Phone
Having your cell phone in front of you during a business meeting is a distraction to both you and your clients and it sends a negative message that you don’t mind interrupting your meeting for something inconsequential
In today’s information age, managing emails, text messages, and phone calls takes considerable time. During business meetings, whether at your office, the office of a client, Cell phones should be turned off or on silent and be out of sight during business meetings.
Don’t be Desperate
Business likes winners – if you are one, show it; if you’re not one yet, showcase your winning expertise. Try not to Appear Desperate.
If you want business from someone, remind them periodically of your existence; don’t expect them to remember you from one conversation or trade show meeting.
Master Communication Techniques
Study various communication styles and learn how to identify an individual’s style of communication. This will allow you to approach the person with the most effective communication techniques.
✒You must be a good listener. There is no point imposing your views on others without some debate. No one has a monopoly on good ideas or good advice.
Formal Business Rule 6 : Good Gesture
✒When you’re meeting a new client, or customer, take the time to introduce yourself and build a rapport. Follow up after the meeting and discuss possible businesses.
When asked for a business card, stop what you’re doing, greet the person asking and show interest in him/her. Never turn your back on the prospective customer. If you don’t have a business card, explain that you ran out, ask for his or her card and follow up.
Also, stand when meeting a new client or shaking hands. Remaining seated while being introduced or shaking hands is disrespectful. Pretend like the person you are meeting is of some interest to you at the moment.
✒When someone introduces themselves to you at an event, it’s an opportunity for an exchange of value to occur. Focus your attention on them, and if you need to leave, excuse yourself, thank them, and move on gracefully.
In this day of email correspondence, it is easy to become too informal. Learn to write a strong, appropriate business letter the old fashioned way and use it in your email. Use of acronyms is rude and unprofessional.
✒When writing email, be sure to address the person by the correct title, and by all means, spell their name right! Proofread it at least three times before you send it and have not her pair of eyes review it, too. You’ll be rewarded with a great, professional first impression!
The Power of the Written Word!
✒Do not underestimate the importance of the written word in communication at a virtual meeting . A poorly written message will have a greater impact on your business.
90% of the time, you can correct your own writing mistakes. Most errors are due to hasty writings, the most important part of the writing is the tone.
If the tone of the message is wrong, the message will be lost on getting to the reader. Please proofread your work and write well.
✒Spend your time telling your potential client what they do Right and not what they do Wrong! Tell the.m what they do right and they will continue to do right by saying YES!
✒Impress your clients and partners by communicating appreciation. Stating “thank you” will elevate you above competitors. Whether large or small, the gesture will have an impact.
Mind the Talk! – Formal Meeting Rule
If you happen to overhear someone discussing a situation and it is evident that you have a solution, resist the urge to ride to the rescue on the spot…especially if you have not yet met!
It’s a big turn-off and the person you are offering your services to won’t generally be open to hearing what you have to say.
✒Don’t give your sales pitch as if you’re throwing up, i.e. loud, in one breath, and ends with an “aah I’m done” kind of expression… Breath, ask questions, and let others talk too….
Final Words on Formal Meeting Rules
Do not be too casual with your clients. Although it is important to build strong relationships, keep it professional at all times.
Also, like I stated, “Check your attire! Always do your research to be sure you present a relatable visual image to your audience”
However, I have learnt that the guy with the sharp looking suit and big car was all appearance and most times with no money. Now I treat everyone equally, as it should be. So, never disqualify by appearance.
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In Summary, here are the 10 Formal Meeting Rules
- Mind the Time!
- Check Your Attire!
- Silent or Switch Off your Cell Phone!
- Don’t be Desperate!
- Master Communication Techniques!
- Good Gesture!
- Write Professionally!
- The Power of the Written Word!
- Communicate Appreciation!
- Mind the Talk!
Do you follow any other rules in a formal meeting? Let me know in the comments section below!
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