How to compose a proper business mail? Which fork to use while on a formal sit-down luncheon? What terms to use while enjoying a healthy business conversation with your clients? How to dress up and what colors to choose when planning for a formal meeting? Are these some of the many questions that trigger your mind hours before you set out for a professional function or your office? Worry not. You are not alone in the race of searching for proper professional etiquette to be followed in office or business conferences. Almost everyone, who is a part of the group tagged 'working class', looks out in search of some tips on professional etiquettes. However, did you know that with a little know-how and some common sense, you can easily earn the long-desired respect in your workplace and leave back a long-lasting impact on your professional life. Take a look at the different professional etiquette tips that will take you miles ahead in your business career.
Tips On Professional Etiquette
- Good listeners are always admired by everyone, especially clients. Therefore, be attentive and listen carefully to all your superiors and subordinates. Further, speak only when the other person finishes his talk rather than interrupting in between.
- Always use a polite and calm voice while interacting. Your tone should be low yet clear.
- Always look into the eyes of the other person to whom you are speaking and never show your back or look away.
- Never stretch your discussion unnecessarily. Keep it short, crisp, and to the point.
- Do not lose your temper or use harsh words even if the other person gets rude or offensive towards you. Your professional etiquettes do not teach you to be impolite to any of your colleagues or business associates.
- Offer and make a firm handshake with your fingers tilted down and thumb up. But it shouldn't be so firm that it crushes or hurts the other person’s hand.
- Your handshake should last for 2-3 seconds, breaking it off gracefully.
- While you make a firm handshake, your eyes should meet the other person’s eyes.
- If you have a nametag, place it high on your right shoulder. Doing so will enable the other person to follow your hand to your shoulder to read your name.
- First and foremost, dress up in formal clothes that are clean and nicely ironed.
- Pick up clothes that are comfortable to wear and easy to carry off. Choose shades that are synonym to the business and corporate world.
- While men should keep their hair trimmed and nicely set, women should avoid sporting revealing clothes and put on minimal yet natural makeup.
- Shape your nails well and keep them clean. Polish your shoes neatly.
- If you are being introduced by someone, either make a handshake or nod your head. However, if you are introducing other people, start off with a lower ranked person proceeding towards the higher ranked ones.
- If seated, stand up to meet or greet the person.
- Do not enter the office premises and start greeting people as you come across them. Always smile and wish ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’.
- If you are the host, allow the guests to seat themselves first. And if you are a guest, be punctual and thank the host for the dinner.
- Never open your mouth while chewing food.
- While in a conversation, never point your knife or fork towards the other person.
- Lunches are ideal to initiate or establish new relationships or business contacts. Further, you can begin your discussion after the appetizers are served; you need not wait for the desserts to arrive in.
Electronic Communication Etiquettes
- Address your colleagues, seniors, or clients with ‘Dear’, ‘Hi’, or ‘Hello’ followed by the title (Mr./Mrs./Miss, etc) and his/her name while drafting an email.
- Your email should end with ‘Yours Sincerely’ or ‘Yours Truly’ followed by your name and designation.
- Keep all your formal mails short and specific. If required, pen down the details and explanations in a formal language, instead of a casual one.
- Greet the person at the start and end of the call while speaking to any of your colleagues, seniors, or clients over the telephone. Make sure that you are polite and respectful during the entire conversation.
- If you are hosting a conference, make it a point to introduce all the participants to each other in the beginning itself.
Follow this simple professional etiquette tips and you sure would enjoy your meeting the next time you are called upon by any of your business associates or clients.