While we may be living in casual times, manners and etiquette are still an essential part of our interactions with each other, particularly in business. As social media platforms have risen in popularity, the lines have been blurred somewhat as to what is considered appropriate. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you navigate through your professional life.
Business Etiquette: Tips For Today's Workplace
1. Thank You Notes
Do you remember the last time you sent a thank you note to a potential client with whom you've met, a prospective employer with whom you've interviewed, or had a face-to-face meeting with a new business partner? It is still an important step that is frequently overlooked. Write a thank you note; you'll stand out.
2. Be Judicious With Your Photos
Social media, as I mentioned, has created a new landscape for blunders. Often we may take pictures at work functions, but tagging a colleague in a photo without their permission will not win you any points. Always ask if you intend to post the photo anywhere public.
3. Look Up
We've discussed smartphone etiquette before, but it bears repeating: be fully present with the people you are meeting with. Turn off your phone, look up, and make the person who is speaking feel like what they are telling you is important enough for you to give it your undivded attention. Eye contact is still important.
4. Acknowledge People - everyone
Learn people's names. That includes everyone from the receptionist to the CEO. Acknowledge each person's contribution to the successes your business. When people feel valued they will likely be loyal. Get to know them and convey your thanks for the work they do.
5. Be Careful With Criticism
You may not always agree with your colleagues on how a situation is handled, but harsh judgment is not right way to address it. It's so easy to tweet or post publicly your criticism, but once it's out there - you can't take it back. Rise above the situation, remember that people are doing their best, and be positive. Ask yourself, "if someone said this about me, how would I feel?" Let that be the litmus test for how you handle yourself in these situations.