When you think of etiquette, you may think about using the right silverware, saying “please” and “thank you,” or sending a note after you receive a gift. The business world expects you to adopt specific behaviors as well. You don’t want to lose that business deal because you offended your counterpart. Therefore, these are a few business etiquette tips to help you.
Avoid Constant Shifting
Long meetings can become uncomfortable, but if you constantly shift around and change positions, you can distract the others in the room. Pay attention to your movements because you may be crossing and uncrossing your legs, adjusting your arms or scooting around without realizing it. Then, search for the position in which you feel most comfortable. Stay in that position for as long as you can, but try to remain there for most, if not all, of the meeting.
Introduce Yourself and Reintroduce Yourself
The first time you meet someone, you should proactively introduce yourself with both your first and last name. Don’t be afraid to ask others their names during your first meeting either. You may use pneumonic devices or other tricks to remember the names of those you meet, but do not expect them to do the same.
Upon future meetings, you should reintroduce yourself. Give your counterpart your first and last name again. You want to distinguish yourself from others with the same or a similar name and give these individuals opportunities to find you online if they choose.
Be Respectful of Others’ Space
If you are like most people, you value your space and can become irritated and uncomfortable when people push into it without an invitation or warning. Therefore, avoid walking into others’ offices without letting them know you need to see them or asking for an appointment. When you just pop in, even if you only ask a question, you can take their attention off of something important they need to finish.
You should also be respectful of others’ time. Avoid prolonged conversations and get to the point. Also, find out what time is best for them to see you.
Many people in today’s world, including the business world, try to stay connected by keeping their cell phones with them. However, when you are in a meeting, whether it is a formal meeting in a conference room or office or an informal meeting over a meal, put your phone away. In fact, you should remove all your personal items from the table to show that you care about the subject and it has your undivided attention.
Although these are just a few tips, they should help you appear more professional and caring about those you meet with.