Recruitment 411: Mind Your Meeting Manners

During childhood, our parents instill in us the concept of minding our manners. In my house, this meant simple things like saying please and thank you, not interrupting when someone was speaking, and being generally respectful of others. It seemed like every time I left the house my mother would say “have fun and mind your manners.” As I got older, that reminder faded. After all, I was an adult, and adults don’t need to be reminded to use their manners.

However, I think some of us could use the occasional reminder to mind our manners. No, this is not Ms. Manners 101: How to behave at family dinner. I’m talking about professional manners – specifically meeting manners.

Manners not only help a meeting run smoothly and efficiently, but they also help ensure that all attendees have an equal opportunity to contribute and feel like a valued member of the team.

Here are some of my must follow meeting manners:

Start on time. There is nothing more valuable than a person’s time – wasting it is disrespectful.

Indentify yourself before speaking. This only needs to be done if there are people attending by phone. It prevents confusion and helps remote attendees follow the conversation.

Pay attention. Don’t read e-mails, check your blackberry, or shuffle through papers – it’s distracting and it gives the impression that you don’t care.

Be an active participant. You’ll get more out of meeting and time will go by faster.

Don’t interrupt. It’s incredibly rude, and you might miss hearing a coworker share a brilliant idea.

What are some meeting manners you wish people would remember?

Recruitment 411 is the official blog of the IRS Recruitment Office.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Amy Simes

No side-bar conversations. I am seeing this more and more during meetings. (It is especially bad when one of the people involved in the side-bar asks about something that was covered while they were having their conversation.)

Marisa Santistevan

To keep it brief. Often times individuals forget that their updates should be just that, not a full history of the issue or and a million ‘what if’ scenarios. Small background, current status, and projection of how things are going. That is all anyone needs to hear.

Paula B Golladay

Great blog! Could not agree more with all of the manners being pointed out. Another reason to identify yourself as the speaker is two fold: 1. During a conference call and there is an interpreter providing services for a participant. 2. If there is an individual who is blind or visually impaired and are in the room they will know who is speaking, this is especially important if the person has not attended a meeting previously with the group.