Manners and mannerisms define a person, especially in the office space. No manager is averse to the negative impact that bad manners can have on his team and its future. Each manager has an example to set and certain unsaid rules and regulations are accepted as part of a leader’s mannerism, especially while planning and conducting meetings. They ultimately affect the team morale and all the entire team is expected to follow them. Five of the basic manners that every professional leader should have in their armoury while conducting a meeting is discussed here
Be on Time: Time is money, time once lost cannot be regained, etc., etc.; every person has grown up hearing some variation of these proverbs. But, their essentiality is everlasting. The team leader has to be on time and should expect every team member to be on time. There can be no second guesses or laxity regarding this basic manner. Most mannerism experts suggest arriving 5-15 minutes early for a business meeting. Being on time defines you as a responsible person who values his own time and that of others.
Dress Appropriately: Accept the fact that your dress and shoes make an impact. You have to know the written, or guess the unwritten code, and dress accordingly. You may argue it is a business meeting and performance matters, more. You are right, but there is a public image that your company needs to adhere and present. You should portray yourself as capable of meeting those demands. Flamboyancy works only for entertainers and people with the chutzpah to pull it off.
Switch off you Mobile: Meetings are scheduled for face-to-face interactions, therefore, eliminating the need for any phone calls. Attending calls, sending messages or any other disturbance from your mobile phone during meetings is considered rude. Switch off your mobile or keep it on vibrating mode. Don’t even for a moment think that if you are playing or chatting under the table, others at the table will not notice. You will be branded as careless and irresponsible.
Measure your Words: You are in a meeting, not a bar where casual or foul language is acceptable. You will get a chance to be heard so you do not need to either interrupt or shout. At every business meeting, speak softly and measure your words. The best way forward is to be prepared for the meeting, knowing your subject thoroughly and having prepared answers for questions that may arise. This will help you answer sensibly and correctly. Be firm, not aggressive to gain the respect of your peers and seniors.
Listen Attentively: Listening as a mannerism is a trait sadly lacking in many a gentleman and gentlewoman. I use the words gentle because listeners are considered sensitive and more in tune with the mood of the meeting, which is absolutely true. The more you listen, the more you have a chance to observe, learn and understand what the other person is saying. Listening is a skill but it also is a basic mannerism that requires you to let the other person complete sentences and thoughts.
If you are not adhering to even one of the basic mannerisms mentioned above, your reputation, operations and career are both in trouble. These manners are not only demanded of you as a professional but will help you build your personal brand and enhance its value!