10 Everyday Tips on Proper Business Etiquette (May 1, 2017)
Making a good impression in the business world is always in the forefront of everyone’s mind, either in making new acquaintances or furthering existing relationships. The following everyday tips on proper business etiquette will help you to form a better impression on those around you.
1. Be considerate of other people’s time. Your time is no more valuable than anyone else’s. Whether you have a deadline to meet or an appointment scheduled, be punctual.
2. Make introductions so that everyone in the group is acknowledged and included. Introduce the most important person first, such as the person you are trying to build a relationship with. If someone has failed to introduce you, then it is appropriate for you to introduce yourself prior to continuing a conversation.
3. Stand when being introduced. To show proper respect to the person you are being introduced to you should always stand.
4. Know your colleagues and employees names and what they do for your company. This shows them that you value who they are and what they do. It will also make it easier to introduce them to others. It’s okay to admit it if you can’t remember a person’s name. Simply correct the situation and make an effort not to forget again.
5. Always use your full name. If you have a difficult name to pronounce, then you could take the opportunity to write down the phonetic pronunciation on the back of your business card and hand it out.
6. Focus on who you are with and not your cell phone or computer. You don’t want to be the one who everyone is staring at for your lack of common courtesy at a business lunch, networking event or meeting. Turn off your phone to eliminate the temptation to constantly be checking your e-mail. If you only silence your phone you are more likely to look at the text or missed call log to see who is trying to contact you.
7. Don’t interrupt others. This goes back to old fashioned good manners. While you may have something to say that will add value to the conversation, give the speaker the opportunity to finish their thoughts.
8. Don’t overuse the word thank you. Often we tend to use the words thank you in a situation where thank you doesn’t really make sense. The overzealous use of the words doesn’t have the same meaning as when the thank you is genuinely and properly used. Do send hand written thank you notes, typically within a day or two, after meeting with potential clients, employers, or other appropriate situations.
9. Don’t point with a single finger. This would be applicable for pointing at people as well as objects. The gesture often appears accusatory, so it is best to avoid.
10. Honor your commitments. If you say you are going to do something, then follow through and do what it takes to keep your commitments. You don’t want to have the reputation of being unprofessional or unreliable.
You will be surprised by the effect that utilizing proper business etiquette has on your professional reputation.
By Angela McNulty, Assurance Manager at Myers, Brettholtz & Company, PA. Angela can be reached at Angela.Mcnulty@mbcopa.com or 239.690.4246.