Powerful Business Etiquette Tips

Have you observed social gaffes and just plain inappropriate behavior at business meetings? Have you ever seen someone make a fool of themselves in a business meeting? Do you feel comfortable in knowing what to do as proper business etiquette in a business meeting? It is very important to know proper business etiquette because it is very critical to your image and the relationship building process.

In my business career and in particular, during my business coaching endeavors, I have learned some very powerful tips to help avoid mistakes in business etiquette that are so easy to make. Your strategic thinking business coach wants to share ten (10) of my favorites. Here they are:

Business Etiquette Tip #1: Always pay attention when someone is talking with you. This is one of the best tips and a great compliment to give the other person.

Business Etiquette Tip #2: Use a firm handshake when being introduced to someone. This shows confidence, warmth, openness and sincerity. Avoid a strong aggressive grip handshake, which makes you appear insensitive and domineering.

Business Etiquette Tip #3: Only speak after the other person has stopped talking. It is very rude to interrupt. This will indicate you are polite and will enable you to listen better, which will enhance your becoming a great conversationalist.

Business Etiquette Tip #4: When speaking, use a calm and even voice and a volume to suit the business situation.

Business Etiquette Tip #5: Dress appropriately for the business meeting situation only “dress down” only the host or hostess of the meeting has given permission.

Business Etiquette Tip #6: Squarely face the person you are speaking with and avoid turning your body away from that person. This behavior can be insulting and very negative.

Business Etiquette Tip #7: Always obey the rules about smoking. Remember that when you light up to smoke you will be instantly disliked by those who do not like smoke and even by those people that do.

Business Etiquette Tip #8: When drinking alcohol, always hold your drink in your left hand. This enables you to shake someone’s hand with your right hand. And it keeps your right hand dry and warm. And remember to always control your drinking!

Business Etiquette Tip #9: Record the person’s name, along with contact and personal and business information in your personal organizer. Visualize the person as you do this and repeat their name aloud a few times also.

Business Etiquette Tip #10: Always respect the other person’s “comfort zone” which is about 3 feet around a person’s body. Be sensitive to avoid standing too close and invading the person’s “comfort zone” which will cause them to dislike your intimidating and insensitive behavior. And be careful with touching gestures. The only safe place to touch another person is the hand when you shake hands.

Why New Hires Need Business Etiquette – And How They Can Get It

The transition between university life and a professional workplace isn’t always seamless. Adjusting to a major shift in workplace culture, protocol and dress takes time and effort. That said, with training, seminars and resources, recent graduates and new hires can be well equipped to jump right in to a professional environment -and your company can help them to do so.

Why Do New Hires Need Business Etiquette?

For those who have been working professionally for years, many aspects of professional life come as second nature. But for those just entering the workforce, certain protocol can be new territory. Notable examples:

Dining Etiquette

When dining for business, there are many more guidelines to follow that simply dining with family or friends, at home or in a restaurant.

Business dining often takes place in a more formal setting, which requires know-how of more extensive table settings and flatware as well as behaviour.

Additionally, the question of alcohol may come up, in which case it is not always obvious to a new hire that alcoholic drinks should only be ordered if the host encourages the order, and if so, no more than one alcoholic drink should be consumed in a business context.

Finally, keeping good conversation going throughout the meal is an art in and of itself. The savvy diner will not engage in controversial discussion, and will discuss business matters only when it seems appropriate to do so.

Interview Etiquette

Before a young person is even a “new hire,” they’ve got to get the job first! No matter how impressive a resume may be, poor interview etiquette may detract from a candidate’s chances of landing a job.

Punctuality is absolutely essential for a job interview – even if a candidate is only 5 minutes late, many employers will simply write off that opportunity. That said, a fine balance is necessary; in other words, getting to an interview too early can be awkward, especially in small companies. Arriving approximately 10 minutes in advance is a safe bet.

A handwritten thank-you note after an interview is indispensable. Coming prepared with other hard-copy materials is also helpful as well; for example, a copy of a resume and cover letter for each staff member conducting the interview, and a business card or reference letter if applicable.

Professional Dress

The expectation for professional dress and image, even in business casual settings, can be vastly different than on a university campus. It can help new hires immensely to have the dress code outlined right at the start of employment and to have an idea of the differences between business formal, business and business casual dress codes.