Tips on Professional Etiquette

Paramita Ghosh Sep 26, 2018
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Your basic etiquette can be a determining factor behind a rising or declining career graph. Here are some basic professional etiquette tips, which will help you judge yourself as a well-mannered professional.
As a working professional, you are expected to understand the workplace culture. It is naturally essential for you to follow some basic professional etiquette. You are required to follow corporate ethics, a couple of them being, respecting other individuals in your workplace and displaying courteous behavior during business interactions.
This can have long-lasting and far fetched impact on professional life; be it your personal career growth or a rising business for your company. Your professional etiquette can place you in the good/bad books of your immediate boss or potential clients.

Basic Professional Etiquette Tips

Conversation Etiquette

  • Always listen to others attentively. Clients are attracted towards good listeners.
  • Speak only when the other person has finished talking; do not interrupt in between.
  • Keep a low but clear, calm voice while conversing. Your tone should always be polite.
  • While conversing, always look into the eyes of the other person. Avoid showing your back or looking elsewhere.
  • Keep conversations short and to the point instead of getting into irrelevant topics and discussions. Remember, this is a business talk, not a family reunion.
  • Maintain your sobriety and politeness even if the client speaks something offensive or rude. Avoid replying back in harsh tone/words.
  • Avoid fidgeting with your dress or putting your hands on the face while in a conversation.

Handshake Etiquette

  • When shaking hands, always offer a firm handshake with your fingers titled down and your thumb up.
  • However, ensure your handshake is not so firm that it crushes or hurts the other person's hand. This indicates that you are dominant.
  • Limit the time of handshakes to 2 to 3 seconds, and take your hand back gracefully.
  • Avoid patting on the back of the hand.
  • While shaking hands, greet the person by looking into his/her eyes.

Dressing Etiquette

  • Always wear neat and well-pressed formal clothes.
  • Choose corporate shades while you are picking up clothes for your office wear.
  • Women should avoid wearing exposing dresses and opt for little, but natural make-ups.
  • Men need to keep their hair (including facial hair) neatly trimmed and set.
  • Always polish your shoes.
  • Keep your nails clean.
  • Wear clothes which you are comfortable in and can carry well. This is very important while you are in a business meeting or client presentation.

Introduction and Greeting Etiquette

  • When you are getting introduced, either shake hands or nod your head.
  • If you are in charge of introducing other people always introduce the lower-ranked person to the higher-ranked one.
  • When first introduced, stand up to meet or greet the person.

Electronic Communication Etiquette

  • In emails, start with 'Dear' or 'Hello', followed by title (Mr./Mrs., etc.) and the name.
  • End your mail with 'Yours Sincerely' or 'Yours Truly', whatever suits best, along with your name and designation.
  • Also, always mention a 'Subject' in all your official mails. Most of the time, this point is conveniently forgotten.
  • Keep official mails preferably short and precise. However, if the subject demands elaborate details and explanations, go ahead, but use a friendly formal language instead of a casual one.
  • While speaking over telephones, always greet the other person while starting and ending the call. Always speak politely.
  • Include your contact details and the date while sending faxes.
  • While participating in conference calls, introduce all the participants to each other at the beginning.

Dining Etiquette

  • Always be courteous while official dinners. Offer the seat to your guest first.
  • If you are the guest, be punctual and thank the host for the dinner.
  • Avoid opening your mouth and chewing food.
  • Initiate conversations while waiting for the food.
  • Avoid pointing the knife or fork towards the other person while eating and speaking.
  • Allow your guest to select the menu and wine.
  • If something unwanted has gone to your mouth, place the napkin in front of your mouth tactfully and bring it out instead if putting your hand inside the mouth to get rid of it.
  • Avoid talking when there is food in your mouth.
  • Learn the basic table manners before you go out to dine with a potential client or an important business meet.

General Etiquette

  • Always be punctual at your workplace.
  • Switch off or put your mobile/cell phones in silent mode while in a conference call, business meeting, or a corporate presentation.
  • In case it is an urgent call, excuse yourself politely and take permission from the others for taking the call.
  • Avoid digging your nose in public.
  • Use handkerchiefs when you are coughing/sneezing in public.
  • When in a meeting room, always stand up to greet the seniors of they arrive after you.
  • Try to ignore and overlook funny or embarrassing sounds when in a meeting or official conversation.
  • If you have forgotten somebody's name, ask him/her politely, mentioning that you are sorry for not remembering the name.
  • Always keep a comfortable distance while conversing with others.
  • Avoid standing or sitting too close to the other person. An arm's length would be ideal to maintain the comfort zone.
  • Be careful while smoking and drinking when you have company. Find out if the person is comfortable with your smoking.
  • Avoid excessive drinking when in a client meet.
  • It would be nice if you hold the door for the person who is coming immediately behind you.
The mentioned tips were some of the basic ones, which you can follow to make a great impression on everyone in your company. Good luck!