In the world of business, no matter what company you run or which role you have in a business, there are certain ‘rules’ that should be observed and followed to create a professional, experienced and serious image.
Business etiquette goes much further than throwing on a suit and tie and giving your shoes a polish. Many etiquette rules in business have stood the test of time, with good reason. Take a look at 15 timeless business etiquette rules everyone should follow.
When meeting someone associated with your business always give them a firm, confident handshake, whether you’re meeting them for the first time or the umpteenth time. A firm handshake will convey sincerity, professionalism and warmth, showing you are pleased to meet the person in a professional capacity.
If you’re at a meeting, business dinner or any type of gathering with various business associates, always introduce your colleagues, partners, clients or other associates to other people at the meeting. Failing to introduce your associates to others will not only leave people baffled to who others are but will look unprofessional and even rude on your behalf.
Eating at your desk in the office will do little in your quest to be seen in a professional and esteemed light by colleagues and employees. Subjecting colleagues to the noise and smell of your lunch can be highly distracting. Always eat elsewhere, such as in breakout rooms or in the staff canteen.
Show you’re interested in members of staff and other associates with the business by remembering their names and using people’s names when you address them.
It might sound obvious but a vital business etiquette rule that should always be followed and that has certainly stood the test of time, is to be polite to others when conducting any type of business. Always say the likes of please, thank-you and you’re welcome, to show gratitude and appreciation to others.
It might be imperative to be polite but avoid going overboard with the thank yous and repeatedly saying thanks could mean you run the risk of looking a tad desperate or insecure.
Another important and timeless office etiquette rule that should be always followed is knocking on someone’s office door or cubicle rather than just barging in. Knocking before entering conveys politeness, respect and patience, even if you’ve got something important to say.
A newer business etiquette rule that looks set to stand the test of time for eternity is to be mindful of mobile phone use. Scrawling away on your phone looking at texts, emails or social media or talking on your phone at a meeting, doesn’t convey the most professional or well-mannered of images.
Another more modern business etiquette rule that’s likely to be around forever, is email etiquette. Show respect to those who send you an email but responding to them in a timely way.
Another email etiquette rule that should be observed is to respond to messages comprehensively, rather than replying with a mere yes or no. This will show you have read the email and request properly and taken the time to answer it comprehensively, showing respect and gratitude to employees, customers and clients.
Refrain from showing slovenliness at work by always proofreading emails so they’re void of typos and other mistakes before you hit the send button.
Our inboxes are clogged up enough at work without be forced to open and read emails we don’t require. Show diligence and thoughtfulness to team members by removing them from email threads if the messages aren’t applicable to them.
Forcing your employees or co-workers to listen to what you’re listening to is extremely distracting, unprofessional and avoidable. Respect others in the office by using headphones.
Another tried and tested business etiquette rule you should never break is to have eye contact when colleagues, employees, customers or clients are speaking to you. Looking at them directly in the eye will show you are genuinely interested in what they are saying and that you are engaged in the conversation.
Another tried and tested business etiquette rule that should be abided to always is to be on time. Whether it’s arriving at work, at a meeting or for an event, always be on time.
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