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Social Etiquette for Online Meetings

Clients often ask what makes good social etiquette when attending online meetings. What are the parameters for courtesy and discourse, even when the conversations are difficult?

Let these 10 simple tips guide you:

  1. It’s perfectly fine to wave “hello” when the session starts or “goodbye” when it ends! Visual cues matter in virtual meetings.

  2. Ask everyone in the session for permission before you take a video recording or a screen shot of the participants., and explain why and how you intend to use that video/photo. This shows respect and courtesy.

  3. Don’t interrupt the conversation flow. Put a hand up physically, or use the ‘raise hand’ function on the videoconference app for permission to interrupt, speak or ask a question, especially when the conversation is animated or when someone else is speaking. This is especially helpful when speaking voices overlap.

  4. Use the platform’s Chat function if you don’t want to interrupt the conversation flow or ask a question. This can be to the whole group, to the host or privately to individuals in the session.

  5. To show that you are listening, nod you head slightly at intervals. The speaker is reassured that you are listening and following the flow.

  6. To acknowledge your agreement or support, you can give a thumbs up or nod your head. Use your body language to give that encouragement.

  7. Ask questions to clarify, not to score a point. Even if you disagree, phrase your question from a position of curiosity rather than confrontation.

  8. Adopt an open posture: avoid slouching or crossing your arms across your chest.

  9. Look polished and professional, especially from the waist up!

  10. As in all meetings, be punctual. It affirms that you respect other people’s time.

Bring your professional presence into every situation. Red Shoe coaches executives to be conscious of and deliberate in their choices when communicating.

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