Accountemps Monthly Newsletter – April

3 Ways to Improve Your Business Meeting Etiquette

For better or worse, smartphones are everywhere in the modern workplace — including the meeting room. In a recent Robert Half survey, 67 percent of managers polled said it’s at least somewhat common for employees to check and respond to emails on their mobile devices during meetings. However, only 6 percent fully endorsed this behavior.

If you have your sights on a promotion and leadership development opportunities, poor manners can come back to haunt you. Here are three tips for improving your business meeting etiquette.

1. Stow the phone.
Many of us reflexively check our smartphones when we’re bored, which happens more than we’d care to admit during meetings. Some even take out their devices and have them at the ready on the conference table. Avoid the temptation to glance at your phone by keeping it in your (locked) desk. Coming to a meeting device-free lets managers know you are ready to get down to business. If you must bring it, turn off the ringer and keep it out of sight.

2. Pay attention.
Show the boss that you’re not just phoning it in by being an active listener. Maintain eye contact with whomever is speaking, and ask good questions throughout the discussion. Be a full participant. While your colleagues practice poor business meeting etiquette by tapping away on their devices, you’ll be accruing valuable information and making a good impression with your manager.

3. Take notes — on paper.
We’re so used to typing that it’s hard to use a pen and paper for extensive writing. However, unless your job is to take minutes or give a PowerPoint presentation, don’t bring your laptop to the meeting. Screens are distracting, especially if you receive frequent pop-up notifications. Demonstrate your professionalism and courtesy by focusing on the meeting, and one way to do that is to take notes the old-fashioned way.

Whether you realize it or not, your supervisors pay attention to your actions to see if you’re leadership development material. When you practice good business meeting etiquette, you’re letting them know you’re ready.

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has more than 340 locations worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at