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WHAT ARE ETIQUETTES?
Etiquette (pronounced, eti'ket) is
the customary code of polite
behavior in society or among
members of a particular
profession or group. Etiquette can
also be defined as a code of
behavior that delineates
expectations for social behavior
according to contemporary
conventional norms within a
society, social class, or group.
Business etiquette is an integral
part of different countries' and
regions' business culture. Etiquette
encompasses the prescriptive
elements of culture—the things
people are expected to do and say,
or to avoid doing and saying. As the
globalization of industries and
marketplaces bring managers ever
closer to unique cultures around
the world, it is more important than
ever for managers and small
business owners to understand why
business etiquette is important.
If you're the meeting host, on time means at least five
minutes early. If you're the guest, on time means on
time. If you get held up and know you're going to be
delayed, a quick email can keep the person on the other
end from feeling stood up.
Having the discipline to step away from distractions is
refreshing. Of course, this really only works if everyone
adheres to it. It's difficult to make that happen, but when
everyone is unplugged and focused, meetings are much
Follow strict table etiquettes and manners when out on a
Professional Meal. Do not invite anyone along unless asked
to do so. Never talk with food in your mouth.
Thank you notes go a long way. If possible, a handwritten
note is best. If you prefer a paperless option, make sure
your message is concise, thoughtful, and free of misspelled
It’s rude and shows disrespect for the opinions of others.
Remember, be assertive, not aggressive.
Verbal and written communications are often much less
formal than in times past, but be careful to choose your
This should go without saying, but even in a very casual
professional atmosphere, this basic form of courtesy is still
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.
It is very important to take care
of the surroundings, while
talking on the telephone,
because your conversation might
be disturbing, or simply
annoying, to the people around
you. Telephone etiquette tips
not only apply to business calls,
following it is also vital if you are
talking to your close friends or
Jot down the items you want to discuss and questions you
want answered. In other words, anticipate and expect you
will be placed into a voicemail system; plan your message
to be as direct and specific as possible, asking the person to
respond to specific alternatives or questions.
Do not sound overly anxious, aggressive or pushy. It is
important your tone conveys authority and confidence. Do
not lean back in your chair when speaking on the
Do not carry on side conversations with other people
around you. The person on the telephone takes
precedence over someone who happens to walk in your
office or passes by while you are on the phone.
Do not use broken phrases, slang or idioms. Always, always
leave your return telephone number as part of your
message, including the area code and SLOWLY, including
REPEATING your telephone number at the end of your
Build the habit of always turning off your cell phone ringer
when entering a meeting, restaurant, theater, training class,
or other place where the purpose of your visit would be
interrupted or others would be disturbed by hearing your cell
Do not allow yourself to be distracted by other activities while
speaking on the telephone, such as rustling papers, chewing
and eating, working on the computer, or speaking with
someone else. Most importantly, do not use a hand held cell
phone while driving. Get a headset or speaker phone for the
An email has to make an
immediate impact to stand out
among the dozens (or even
hundreds) of messages a busy
executive is bombarded with
each day. When executed
properly, an incoming email can
open the door to a new
relationship or strengthen an
These few words often determine whether your email will get
opened or not. State in simple, concise language what you are
writing about. Don't try to jam four different topics and an
invoice in the same email; no doubt something is bound to get
lost in the shuffle. Use one or two topics per email, and state
simply in the header what you will be addressing in the body. If
it's time sensitive, add that phrase in the subject line as well.
When email goes awry, it is often because a message was sent to
the wrong person with a similar name. One additional tip: leave
the "TO" field blank until you are ready to send, so you don't
accidentally launch the email before you are ready.
That means no abbreviations, acronyms or emoticons. Even if
you enjoy a very relaxed relationship with the other person,
assume your email may be forwarded, so use a smiley face in
careful moderation. Failing to use correct punctuation,
spelling and grammar can have the unintended consequence
of making you look either negligent or sloppy.
Keep it concise or you risk burying the pertinent points in a
sea of words. Use paragraphs to separate your thoughts and
avoid using all caps in any part of your email, even to make a
point. This shows that you value the person time
End your email with an all-purpose phrase like "Best regards"
or "Sincerely". Make sure every email includes a signature line
at the end listing your full name and business contact
information. Beware of including a quote or a line of scripture
below your signature line.
Choose your words carefully so that they do not convey
negativity or sarcasm in any way. When possible, close your
email with a cordial sentiment such as a "Thank you for your
time", or "Looking forward to hearing from you soon".
Don't make the recipient wonder what you want. If you are
reaching out simply to establish a connection and no call to
action is necessary, thank them for their insights on their
speech or in their most recent news article. This is a good way
to leave the door open for future contact.
Your email is one among countless others that will land in
their inbox on a particular day. If you have included a specific
request and don't hear back within a week, follow up with a
quick note reminding them of your previous message.