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Professional Etiquette in the Workplace
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Professional Etiquette in the Workplace


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  • 1. Professional Etiquette in the Workplace University Career Center 1601 Irving Hill Road • Burge Union, 110 Lawrence, KS 66045 • 785-864-3624 • [email_address]
  • 2. Introductions
    • Introduce…
    • A younger person to an older person
    • A non-official person to an official person
    • In the professional world: the junior to the senior
    • Explain who people are and
    • use their full names
    • Don’t assume people want to be called by their first name—wait until you are told to use a first name
  • 3. Handshakes
    • Make a V with your thumb and forefinger
    • Extend your arm across your body
    • Not too hard or weak
    • Two pumps (approximately)
    • Make a good first impression
  • 4. Name Tags
    • Should be worn on the right hand side of your front shoulder area
    • If on a chord, should be in the upper middle of your chest
    • Pay attention to people’s names on their nametag when meeting them and use their name once you have been introduced
  • 5. Body Language
    • First impressions are extremely important - your initial meeting forms a lasting impression
    • Use good eye contact
    • Smiling is an important non-verbal behavior - it shows interest and approachability
    • Lean forward, look engaged in the conversation, don’t slouch
    • Look and act interested
  • 6. Business Attire: Professional
    • Women:
    • Conservative suit (dark colored)
    • Conservative blouse
    • Skirt (at least knee length) or pants
    • Hosiery
    • Conservative matching shoes
    • Conservative minimal
    • jewelry
    • Light on the make- up
    • Hair out of face
    • Men:
    • Conservative suit (dark colored)
    • Matching conservative collared shirt
    • Matching tie (basic)
    • Dark Shoes
    • Socks that match your suit
    • Jewelry: watch only
    • Clean cut: hair and face
  • 7. Business Attire: Casual
    • Nothing low cut, tight, or revealing
    • No jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.
    • Use an iron!
    • Find out the dress code of your organization
    • Think conservative, but you can be more trendy than you can with business professional (usually)
  • 8. Socializing VS. Gossiping in the Work Place
    • Socializing:
    • Friendly conversation
    • Work related
    • Small talk (appropriate topics)
    • Anyone can hear it
    • Usually encouraged in small amounts
    • Helps with camaraderie among co-workers
    • Gossiping:
    • Not everyone can hear it
    • Usually potentially hurtful
    • Inappropriate topics
    • Can lead to trouble
    • Can lead to tension
    • Involves others as source of topics
    • Reminds you of junior high
    Tips: Stay away from cliques; be nice and friendly; volunteer to help out when you can; have appropriate fun; communicate with others
  • 9. Communication: General
    • Be nice and courteous- “please” and “thank you”
    • Listen
    • Don’t interrupt
    • Share information with colleagues-new resources, interesting articles, valuable information they need to know, etc.
    • Respond in the same form in which you were contacted: ex. voicemail to phone call, not email
    • Avoid sensitive topics: politics, religion, etc.
    • Avoid foul language, offensive terms/phrases
  • 10. Communication: Email
    • Your email address should be professional, not
    • Be careful with personal emails/accounts at work; know the policy
    • Use proper grammar and punctuation in email
    • Watch the sarcasm! It’s hard to read through email
    • Avoid emoticons in professional correspondence
    • Have a signature attached to your emails with your title, contact information, etc.
    • Address people by Ms. or Mr. unless they have requested otherwise or used only their first name in their signature
  • 11. Communication: Phone
    • Keep a pen and paper by your phone to take notes
    • Speak clearly and at a moderate pace
    • Don’t eat or chew gum while talking to someone
    • Don’t talk in a public place on your mobile phone
    • Turn your mobile phone off!
    • Leave a message: state your name (spell if needed) and say your phone number, while you write it down
  • 12. Communication: Phone Continued
    • Monitor your personal message: Is it appropriate?
    • Always return messages (be timely-aim for within 24 hours)
    • Avoid texting at work while in a meeting
    • If your boss texts you, make sure you check your messages for spelling and grammar before sending your response
    • Personal calls at work—be careful and know the rules
  • 13. University Career Center 1601 Irving Hill Road ● Burge Union, Room 110 ● Lawrence, KS 66045 785-864-3624 ●