Business Meeting

The ideal time for handing out business cards will depend on the context of the meeting, but generally this will be at the beginning of the meeting

Negotiations are usually open and flexible and the British will favour a collaborative win/win approach to agreements

Verbal communications are usually confirmed in writing where exact details are set out

People tend to work with their office door open

British management style has a reputation for taking calculated risks

Attending social events is slightly different, and guests may be expected to arrive about fifteen minutes after the specified time

Senior managers and directors will often have personal assistants, who plan their diaries and meetings to fit into their working day

It is good practice to ensure that agendas are circulated in advance of any meeting

Locations of meetings, attendance lists, and any required equipment, e.g. computer and projection equipment need to be planned in advance

Expect a great deal of written communication, both to confirm and to maintain a record of discussions and decisions

Even if you have a friendly or casual relationship with colleagues, you should remember that on-the-job correspondence means that an e-mail is a business letter

It is generally not customary to state your full name, including first and last name when you answer the phone

The British value time-keeping for business arrangements

Since the British are so time conscious, sometimes you may feel their lives are very rushed

It is considered very impolite to arrive late for a business meeting

If your delay is inevitable and you arrive late, it is usually sufficient to excuse yourself with an apology

If you are running more than a few minutes late, you should call ahead to apologise and give an indication of how long you will be

Do make direct eye contact with your British business partner, but use some discretion so as not to stare and be considered impolite or rude

If you are asked to wait a short while for the person you are there to see, this time may be used to chat informally

It is essential to create an atmosphere of trust, reliability and fairness, as those are values the British appreciate

Following established protocol is critical to building and maintaining business relationships in the UK

Meetings should be structured carefully so they keep to time, follow the agenda, and are chaired effectively with minutes taken by an appropriate person

Video conferencing saves the organisation costs in travel and time, but does not allow face-to-face personal contact

When meeting someone for the first time, most managers will value some advance information about the company you represent

Recognising that meetings take up a lot of time and are often not very productive, some UK companies have introduced a meetings policy

You are advised to check in advance if any resources or equipment you require are available, to prevent delays or embarrassment at the meeting

Attendees are always expected to confirm their attendance and may sometimes put forward a replacement delegate, if they are unable to attend themselves

It is also important to ensure a meeting location is appropriate, that the room has all the required facilities

If a meeting includes non-English speaking attendees, it may be necessary to ensure that an interpreter is available

Meetings can be confirmed via email

Punctuality is expected and appreciated

planning and preparation necessary to ensure the meeting achieves its objectives

The agenda for the meeting should stipulate clearly who is invited, the meeting location, date, time and what is expected to be discussed

Individual communications with attendees, might be necessary to explain the expected format of the content

Meetings are placing emphasise on shorter presentations, and give more focus to discussion and question and answer type activities

Some organisations prefer PowerPoint presentations, and meeting documents to be circulated in advance of the meeting, so that all attendees are able to review any materials that will need to be discussed

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