Business Etiquette Rules That Every Professional Needs To Know

What is etiquette?

Etiquette is a customary code of polite behavior in the society or among the members of a particular profession or a group.

Business etiquette includes ways to conduct a certain business. It differentiates you from others in a competitive market. It enables you to be confident, exhibit professionalism and develop a polished image.

Here are certain business etiquette rules, which every professional needs to know.

Introduction

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Failing to introduce people in a business situation makes you look downright unprofessional. Always rise as a mark of respect. Look into their eyes and smile. Introduce evryone.

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Give a firm handshake. Always stand when you’re being introduced to someone. Standing helps to establish your presence. You make it easy for others to ignore you, if you don’t stand. You should use your full name, but you should also pay attention to how others want to be introduced. If you forgot someone’s name during an introduction, don’t panic. Look the person directly in the eye and with the sincere smile, say I am sorry, but your name just slipped my mind. Can you remind me?

Dress appropriately

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A recent survey by OfficeTeam (http://officeteam.rhi.mediaroom.com/wackywardrobes) found that 80 percent of executives says clothing affects an employee’s chances of earning a promotion. Dress for the position you want, not the position you have.

Only say 'thank you' once or twice during a conversation

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You need to say it only once or twice within a conversation, else you may dilute its impact and possibly make yourself seem somewhat helpless and needy.

Don't engage in gossip at work

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It’s natural to be interested or curious in what other people are doing, but talking about a colleague, who is not present is disrespectful. Everybody is entitled to private conversations, over the phone or in person. The same rule applies for an email. It’s unethical to stand over someone’s shoulder and read their emails.

Keep your fingers together when you point

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You should never point your finger at someone or something. The most professional way of gesturing is with an open palm.

Don’t order anything too expensive

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Should you find yourself having to go on a business lunch, don’t order anything that is too expensive or tricky to eat. Stick with the simple options, which are usually in the middle of the price range, especially if you have been invited out and there is no indication on hospitality limits.

Never pull out someone’s chair for them

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It's OK to hold open a door for your guest, but you shouldn't pull someone's chair out for them regardless of gender. However in a business setting, there should be gender neutrality. Everyone should be treated equally.

Don’t check your phone during meals and meetings

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Texting, checking E-mails or taking calls can be extremely annoying and disrespectful to the speaker, so when you’re in a meeting, focus on the only person talking and the topic being discussed. This rule should go for all dining situations too.

Be on time to the meetings, conference calls and the appointments

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Nothing shows more respect for the person with whom you’re meeting than showing up on time. Also note, that showing up earlier than five minutes is considered just as rude as showing up late. The last thing, which you would want is for your host to be still preparing when you arrive. Rather just sit in your car till the appropriate time.

Don’t sink to someone else’s standards

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Just because co-workers behave badly is not a reason for you to follow the same path. Always keep your poise and do the right thing, even if you’re doing it alone. It matters and will surely notice.

Keep these points in mind at your workplace and it will surely lead to a happy and productive environment.

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