Business Etiquette 101

Having a basic understanding of business etiquette rules is crucial. In The Essentials of Business Etiquette, Barbara Pachter writes about the things people need to know in order to conduct and present themselves appropriately in professional social settings. Here are some of her most important business etiquette points:

1. Standing Is Crucial When You’re Being Introduced To Someone

“Standing helps establish your presence. You make it easy for others to ignore you if you don’t stand. If you are caught off guard and cannot rise, you should lean forward to indicate that you would stand, if you could,” Pachter writes.

2. Say Your Full Name…Always!

In a business situation, you should use your full name, but you should also pay attention to how others want to be introduced.

3. The Host Or The Higher-Ranking Person Initiates The Handshake

In today’s workplace, the host or the higher-ranking person, regardless of gender, should extend their hand first, she writes. “If the higher-ranking person fails to do so immediately — often because of gender confusion — the lower-ranking person should extend his or her hand without missing more than a beat.”

Either way, the handshake must happen. “In the United States, the handshake is the business greeting. If you want to be taken seriously, you must shake hands and shake hands correctly.”

4. Wear Proper Attire

“Clothing, an important form of nonverbal communication, can enhance a person’s professional reputation or detract from his or her credibility. You want to send a professional message through your clothing choices,” Pachter writes.

Always find out what the dress code is at an event, meeting, or restaurant and make sure your attire falls within the guidelines.

5. When To Say “Thank You”

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

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