Business meeting place: What your preference says about you

By Robert Half on 8 February 2015

Whether you always choose the boardroom or prefer more casual meetings over lunch or coffee speaks volumes about your personality.

It’s a common perception among some professionals that business meetings are a necessary evil. And while there are a number of ways to make them less painful – such as by setting agendas or time limits for presentations – where you decide to hold your meeting determines its flow and “vibe”, as well as says a lot about who you really are. So, which of the following business meeting places do you prefer best?

You prefer … the office conference room

Some people might think you’re predictable but, really, you just have a no-nonsense approach to work, and you’re all about getting things done quickly and efficiently. After all, no one will have to waste time getting to the meeting venue, and the conference room is equipped with everything you need.

However, you might want to consider holding an off-site meeting once in a while, especially when brainstorming is required. A change of scenery might just trigger that “Eureka!” moment in employees.

You prefer … a coffee shop close to your office

Aside from the very practical reason that a meeting at your nearest Starbucks will keep everyone present well-caffeinated, that fact that you prefer holding meetings in a casual environment shows that you are a very sociable person. You’re a big believer that teamwork is the key to getting things done, and what better way for team members to bond than over breakfast and a spot of coffee?

The only problem is that it is easy for such meetings to run longer than they have to due to everyone being distracted by non-important issues, so set a clear agenda before the meeting and appoint someone to ensure your team members stay on track.

You prefer … lunch meetings at a restaurant

If you enjoy business lunches, it’s probably because you relish being in control. You prefer meeting on “neutral ground” rather than the client’s office so that he wouldn’t be as easily distracted by interruptions. Suggesting a potential lunch venue, and making the necessary reservation also shows that you’re proactive and have initiative, which subtly indicate that you’re in charge. Picking up the tab is also a “power move” on your part. When the client feels gratitude towards you, you’re in a better position to negotiate for what you want.

Whatever your preferred business meeting place is, it’s important to change it up every now and then. Who knows? A change of scenery might just help you seal the deal, or provide the burst of inspiration that you and your colleagues need to tackle new challenges.

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