The way you behave and act towards others at work says a lot about you as a person and your professionalism.
Even the tiniest misstep can hurt your career more than you realize. Being conscious of business etiquette can help you set yourself apart professionally.
I’ve narrowed down all the business etiquette rules to just ten. Share these with people in your office, with your children, and with anyone else whom you care about seeing succeed in business.
1. Dress Appropriately. The adage, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” is a good rule to follow. Dressing one small step up from what you would consider the “norm” in your office is the kind of thing that gets noticed by the powers that be. Women should avoid anything too sexy or tight which diminishes her credibility.
2. Arrive on Time. Whether it’s meeting with a client or colleagues, it’s disrespectful to show up late and gives the impression you’re either disorganized or have more important things to do. Either way, it’s not a good impression.
3. Build Good Relationships and Show Interest. If you’re within 30 feet of someone, acknowledge them and smile. If within 15 feet say, “hello.” Always say “please” and “thank you”. When speaking with someone, show you are truly engaged and don’t be on your phone or computer. People will remember you by how you make them feel, and nobody wants to feel ignored or disrespected.
4. Be Conscious of Your Body Language. Greet people with a firm handshake and direct eye contact. Hugs or other types of affection that you share with friends and family are inappropriate in the workplace.
5. Introduce Yourself and Others. Sometimes you can tell people don’t remember your name or position. Introduce or reintroduce yourself quickly if that seems to be the case and include your last name. Also, introduce the people you’re with to everyone else.
6. Have Polite Email Etiquette. Do not “reply all” if someone doesn’t need to know. Change the subject line as it relates to the message. Try to get back to people within 24 hours. Use proper grammar and a polite tone.
7. Watch Your Mouth. Bad language includes swear words as well as judgmental and disrespectful language. You’re in a diverse environment so speak as though someone from HR is listening. Steer clear of controversial issues such as politics, religion, or other “hot button” topics that could make people upset.
8. Don’t Interrupt Others. Avoid interrupting the person who is speaking because this sends the message that what she or he is saying isn’t as important as what you have to say. Based on your office environment also be careful of not interrupting others when they’re working by popping into their office or talking loudly on your phone or in the halls.
9. Consume Food and Drinks Politely. In the office, don’t make a mess in the kitchen. When dining out, have nice table manners as this increases your professionalism and you’ll better represent your company. Don’t drink too much at work functions, ever.
10. Pick Up the Phone. When you only communicate with people via email and text, you lose the opportunity to really get to know them. Always call someone if you have a sensitive, upsetting, or private issue to discuss instead of putting it in writing where the other person might misunderstand or share your message.
If you have any etiquette questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to my website FinesseWorldwide.com. Thank you! Aimee