With an increase in video conference and over-sharing on social media, some basic business etiquette has begun to fade away from today’s corporate environment. Every now and again, it’s good to get a refresher on what we all know is proper, but we sometimes overlook.
Leave your phone in your pocket. During meetings, at business lunches or even talking with colleagues in the hallway…if you are looking at your phone, you are not listening. The best way to make a bad impression is to make people feel unimportant. Eye contact is critical, and you won’t achieve it by reading an email on your phone that could have waited 2 minutes.
Remember people’s names. It matters. When you meet someone, say their name in your head along with an animal with the same first letter. Try to use their name out loud within the first 5 minutes of meeting them. Not only will it help your memory, but it makes them feel important (see tip #1)
Respect opposition. People have opinions, and they are most often voiced when they contradict each other, so get used to it. Your opinion doesn’t need to be louder or more accepted than the next person’s. And you’re not going to earn bonus points by trying to sway people. Shrugging your shoulders and embracing the beauty that we are all very different specimens will get you far in life.
Say thank you. Whether it’s a job interview or a new client meeting, always, always, always follow it up with a thank you note. Show the person that making time for you was meaningful for you. Not only is it good manners, but you’ll also get another opportunity to make an impression on someone you most likely want to remember you.
Don’t be late. Tardiness to meetings is highly disrespectful and sends a message to the organizer and the attendees that you have more important things to be doing. (See tip #1)Your late arrival will disrupt the meeting, calling attention to you being the cause for the disruption. If tardiness is unavoidable, simply offer an apology but not an excuse. People don’t care.
Of course there are many other rules of etiquette people should heed in a professional environment. Emily Post has revised her own set of rules to take the digital landscape and rise of social media into consideration. Leave a comment with your own suggestions, or let me know your biggest pet peeve with co-workers.