Business VoIP Featured Article

Etiquette Rules for Meetings and Business VoIP

December 03, 2012

By Susan J. Campbell, Business VoIP Contributing Editor

The way a company interacts with its clients speaks volumes about its approach to business. There are a number of different opportunities for the company to reinforce the brand, or give it a black eye. When business VoIP has been added as a strategy to streamline communications and reduce costs, quality still has to play a role to protect interactions. 

A recent Nextiva blog post focused on the importance of etiquette in the office meeting. While these important interactions are viewed as a waste of time, important information is often shared. The point of failure occurs when companies lack planning and proper etiquette. 

Consider the effectiveness of an interaction via business VoIP if an employee doesn’t care about the way he or she comes across to the person on the other end of the connection. The same outcome is possible in the business meeting when etiquette is lacking. 

To ensure the effectiveness of a meeting, company leaders can take a few tips from Nextiva. The first – prepare an agenda for the meeting a few weeks in advance and send it to each planned participant. The posted agenda should include the start and end times of the planned meeting. For any slides, handouts or other materials that will be used during the presentation, prepare these three days in advance at a minimum.

 Next, all cell phones should be silenced during the meeting. Even an important call shouldn’t interrupt the flow of the meeting with an obtrusive ring. The one anticipating the call should simply wait for the phone to vibrate when the call comes in, excusing themselves from the meeting before actually taking the call. 

Breaks are also important. No one likes being kept in a lengthy meeting with no time to stand and stretch, giving the brain a break from concentration on the topic. Every couple of hours, there should be a break of at least 20 minutes. A minimum of 30 minutes should be allowed for meal breaks when food sources are nearby. If participants must leave the facility for meals, breaks should be at least an hour. 

Those participating in the meeting need to adhere to specific social etiquettes. For instance, raising a hand to answer a question rather than calling it out demonstrates control and respect for the facilitator. Asking specific questions about the content may be more appropriate after the meeting has ended.

The meeting facilitator needs to avoid annoying habits like fidgeting, tapping a pencil or other distractions. He or she should also set a time limit for the meeting and stick to it. If the meeting should go off topic, he or she needs to remind attendees about the posted agenda and bring the discussion back to the topic at hand.

 If the meeting needs to be conducted through video conferencing or audio conferencing via business VoIP, the same etiquette rules apply. Just because someone isn’t in the same room doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same level of respect. 

Nextiva offers a full range of business VoIP solutions that can be implemented within the corporate environment to drive the necessary results. And, when combined with a few rules of etiquette, can create positive experiences.

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Edited by Jamie Epstein


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