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15 Vital Business Etiquette Rules

Unprofessional behavior could lose you business. Here are 15 basic etiquette rules you should be following.

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OCTOBER 03, 2012 As times change, so do social norms for personal and professional behavior, but that doesn’t mean basic etiquette doesn’t matter. Performance and quality are important, too, of course, but not exclusively. We sometimes forget that business is about people. There is no shortage of competent and reliable people in the business world and manners can make the difference. Wouldn’t you rather collaborate with, work for or buy from someone who has high standards of professional behavior?
Many, but not all, of us follow these 15 time-tested rules of better behavior. Do you?

1. When in doubt, introduce others. Always introduce people to others whenever the opportunity arises, unless you know that they’re already acquainted. It makes people feel valued, regardless of their status or position.

2. A handshake is still the professional standard. Not only does this simple gesture demonstrate that you’re polite, confident and approachable, it also sets the tone for any potential future professional relationship. In a very casual work atmosphere, you might be able to get away with a nod or a hello, but it’s worth it to make the extra effort to offer your hand.

3. Always say “Please” and “Thank you.” This should go without saying, but even in a very casual professional atmosphere, this basic form of courtesy is still imperative. Today, sending a thank you e-mail is perfectly acceptable, but a handwritten thank you note is always a nice touch.

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