Getting ahead in the world of business isn’t all about making money- it’s also about making friends. Networking and developing strong connections in your industry is crucial, and a good sense of business etiquette will start you off in good stead. Knowing the right way to behave in a business context doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so be aware of your actions to create the best possible persona.
Get A Grip
A good, strong handshake is the perfect way to introduce yourself to a new client or colleague, and will set you apart from the rest. Practice shaking hands with a firm, comfortable grip- you don’t want to crush bones, but you definitely want to display assertiveness.
Don’t be afraid to shake hands frequently- it’s always better to be slightly too formal than risk seeming disinterested and impolite. Pair your shake with a winning smile for a charming, confident first impression.
In this day and age, we’re all glued to our mobile phones at all times. If you’re in a meeting or chatting with your boss, switch your phone off or at least ensure that it’s in silent mode. Checking your phone during meetings makes you appear rude and distracted, and an ill-timed incoming email beep could completely throw off an important conversation.
Always Be Punctual
Whether you’re arriving at work or meeting a client for lunch, be on time every time. Err on the side of early- showing up even a few minutes late will make you appear flaky and inconsiderate, neither of which are desirable qualities in a business associate.
Mind Your Manners
Your mother probably taught you to always say “please” and “thank you”, so carry this wisdom over to your work life. If you go for a job interview, follow up the appointment with a thank you note expressing your gratitude for the opportunity, regardless of the outcome. Neat thank you notes can be a solid investment- a little politeness goes a long way.
Ditch The Text Talk
Email etiquette has become increasingly entwined with business etiquette, so don’t neglect this aspect of communication when considering the impression you make at work. Leave personal conversations to your mobile phone- don’t put anything in writing on your office email that you wouldn’t want your boss to read. Be mindful of the way you type, particularly if you’re writing an email to a superior- check your spelling and grammar and ensure that the email reflects back on your positively.