- Dr. Latika Vaishak Shanbhag
When it comes to business etiquette, some rules aren’t meant to be broken. Some of these may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised by how many times you may have made a mistake without even noticing it.
1. Pay attention to names
Names are one of the first pieces of information that we learn about someone. It is how people recognize and address you. When you tell others your name, include your last name.
2. Don’t walk into someone’s office unannounced
It’s disrespectful to assume that you have the right to interrupt other people’s work. Knock on the door or say hello if it’s open and ask if it’s a good time to talk. If the discussion will take more than a few minutes, it’s a good idea to call or e-mail and schedule a good time for both of you.
3. Study up on emotional intelligence
One of the most critical business etiquette skills involves behaving with emotional intelligence. It refers to one’s ability to put your own feelings aside and see things from the perspective of other people.
4. Mind your P’s and Q’s
Proper business etiquette demands using the words “please” and “thank you.” It doesn’t matter if you’re asking a staff member to call back a client or work late — phrase such demands as polite requests or expect colleagues to take umbrage.
5. Address problems with solutions
Problem-solving skills are one of the number one requested skills in work. So, learn to master this business etiquette skill, and it’ll be much easier for you to climb the career ladder.
6. Double check before you hit send
While we’re on the subject of communication, always check your e-mails for spelling and grammar errors. Since the advent of spell check, there is no excuse for typos. Also, do a quick read to make sure the meaning and tone are what you wish to convey. And no smileys, please.
7. Learn proper business lunch etiquette
If you have an important business lunch or dinner coming up, it is recommended that you snack on some almonds and dried fruit or another healthy snack before heading out. You don’t want your empty stomach to steal the attention and make you think more about food than business.
8. Embrace lifelong learning
You don’t necessarily need to enroll in graduate school to get ahead in life, but technology does change at the speed of light, meaning – industries constantly need to build the skills of their workforce.