Attendance at Business Meeting

Meeting your American business partners and clients in person is the perfect starting point for a trusting and successful cooperation. To guarantee a thorough understanding between meeting partners, duly reflecting the interests of both sides, our bilingual employees of Figeroux & Associates will accompany you to your appointments with:

*Business partners
*Public authorities
*Attorneys at law
*Tax accountants
*Brokers, etc

Here are a few recommendations and tips for lawyers in business meetings:

1. Before the meeting, be sure to know the agenda and the objective of the meeting (these are not the same things). If you don't get the information, ask for it until you receive it.
2. Be prepared. The contrary will make you look irrelevant and unprofessional. Know in advance what the issues are. Get familiar with the facts and the documentation. Put in writing a checklist of questions, suggestions, comments to make.
3. Have an informal discussion with key participants before the meeting if the subject is too obscure for you and you need explanations, or if the issues are very complex or political.
4. Bring a flip chart and white board markers with you. There are your weapons for the Meeting as those in the meeting room may be missing or over­used.
5. Be on time. Arriving late puts you in a weak, defending position. It disqualifies you. Arriving on time gives you confidence and power, and the possibility to sit where you want.
6. Be careful about where you sit. Make a conscious decision as to whether you want to occupy a central place or not, whether you want to be in the loop or not. If you want to be part of the team, take your place in the middle of it.
7. Try to sit close to the flip chart.
8. Try to sit where you can see everyone and where everyone can see you.
9. Take possession of the flip chart. Use it to write the purpose of the meeting, to summarize and structure decisions, to draw the action plan, and to focus attention on you. If you use the flip chart, you will be the "de facto" facilitator.
10. Turn into your advantage the fact of being a non­expert on financial, technical or other non­legal issues. Transform your lack of knowledge into a reason for asking questions and so taking your place in the discussions.
11. If you can't add value as to the content because it is too far away from your knowledge basis, bring value to the process of the meeting and to the group dynamics. Be the goal keeper, the time keeper, the record keeper… Demonstrate your superior skills as a meeting facilitator.
12. Observe the power games and understand them. Don't get involved in them.
13. If you are to write the minutes, keep them short. Limit it to an email summarizing decisions (who, what, when).

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