The Best Etiquette Tips for 3 Types of Business Meetings

As a CEO, I don’t run all of my meetings exactly the same and neither would I recommend doing that in the workplace. Some meetings I take the lead on. Others I don’t and one of the department managers takes the reins instead. And many meetings are a mix of shared leading effort alongside other partners. Regardless of who leads a meeting or how informal the setting is, it’s always a good idea to keep a few etiquette tips in mind when it comes to meetings of any kind, especially in the following three formats.

1) When a team manager takes full charge of the meeting and you, as the CEO, get to listen in and assume much less leadership responsibility.

In this situation, team managers must come as prepared as possible. Even if members of their team are presenting as well, it’s important to keep a shortlist of what they’re working on included with your own master list. And just because the CEO isn’t leading doesn’t mean that they can check out of the meeting entirely. Think about the department that is speaking and come with your own ideas on what they can try testing out next or initiatives you’d like to see launched.

2) The CEO takes over the beginning, middle, and end of the meeting and everyone involved awaits further instruction on what to do next.

First and foremost, stick to a specified amount of time on these types of meetings. When both sides get to talking, and depending on how many people are in each department you meet with, that can easily while away a considerable chunk of time and cut into whatever you have scheduled next. As the boss, listen attentively to what every person has to contribute and don’t focus solely on any negatives – bring in as many positives as you can.

3) The collaboration meeting AKA when it’s you and everyone else on the floor.

These types of meetings tend to go to the two extremes – either everyone speaks all at once or no one speaks and you have coax people into talking by pleading for some feedback. For collaboration meetings, put together a lightly structured schedule of what you’ll be discussing to best keep the meeting focused and on track. Don’t interrupt anyone when they have the floor and allow for opinions to be freely (and respectfully) addressed. No matter how large the group is that you’re meeting with, always be sure to get everyone involved and if there are any new team members, introduce them to everyone by playing a quick name association game and give them a warm welcome!

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