Business Management Daily, publisher of Mastering Business Etiquette & Protocol, has compiled this report to help you discover best practices on making proper introductions, cubicle etiquette, “casual dress” rules, handshake protocol, guest etiquette, workplace behavior faux pas, business dining etiquette, office wedding invites and other co-worker special occasions, business letter and email protocol—and even how your office decorations may affect your professional image.
Business Etiquette Tip #1
Cubicle etiquette: 8 close-quarters rules
Even if there aren’t four walls and a door marking the area, you need to respect everyone else’s work space. Four etiquette rules:
1. Don’t “prairie dog.” Walk around the partition to see a neighbor, instead of popping your head over the top. And as you walk down the passageways, don’t peek into each workstation.
2. Grant your neighbors private time. Stagger lunch breaks to provide everyone a few minutes alone at their desks.
3. Don’t chime in to conversations you hear over the wall. Whether it’s a work question you can answer or a private conversation you’d rather not hear, ignore comments that aren’t directed at you.
4. Keep lunch in the kitchen. Or, when you absolutely can’t leave your desk for a meal, choose foods without strong odors, and dispose of your trash in the kitchen, not in your own wastebasket.
Business Etiquette Tip #2
'Casual dress' etiquette: Demystify your event's dress code
Casual. Corporate casual. Business casual. Smart casual. Resort casual. Don’t leave meeting attendees baffled about your event’s dress code.
Explain what you mean by “business casual” or “corporate casual,” etc. with examples of appropriate attire for men and women. One event’s “resort casual” encouraged wearing jeans, while another explained that shorts were acceptable, but not denim or cutoffs.
Tip: Map your course of action when attending a meeting where the dress code is unclear. Find out how in 14 Tips on Business Etiquette.
Business Etiquette Tip #3
How to finesse awkward, embarrassing situations
Knowing whether or not to tell your CEO that he has spinach stuck in his teeth is one sure test of your business etiquette skills. (Answer: Tell him, but discreetly.)
The situation: You find a personal—and potentially embarrassing—document left behind on the photocopier.
Solution: Normally, you’d put forgotten pages in a tray beside the copier, for people to claim later. In this case, though, deliver the document in person, advises Peter Post, author of The Etiquette Advantage in Business.
Business Etiquette Tip #4
Handshake etiquette: Setting the stage for instant rapport
A good, well-timed handshake to pair with your smile is a sure way to stand out, whether you’re at the company picnic or an industry conference.
Here’s how important it is: A prospective employee with the best handshake is more likely to get the job, research shows.
Even if you’re not a job-seeker, a good handshake will grant you instant rapport when meeting someone new. Find a refresher course on the business protocol of the perfect handshake in 14 Tips on Business Etiquette.
Business Etiquette Tip #5
Job etiquette: When a co-worker gets the pink slip
Your friend at work gets handed a pink slip, and now you feel awkward. So awkward, in fact, that you’re tempted to do nothing. But that’s the last thing you should do.
Here’s how to deal with the situation:
React quickly, or risk appearing insensitive. Even if you can say only, “I’m sorry. And I don’t know what to say.”
Steer clear of downplaying or saying anything inauthentic. Avoid saying things like, “This place is going down the tubes” or “I know how you feel.”
Set up a gathering, once the initial shock has faded. Make it just the two of you or invite others, so you have time to say goodbye outside the office. Keep it focused on the person, and “understand that some things are out of our control,” advises psychologist Kenneth E. Reinhard.
14 Tips on Business Etiquette: Setting a professional tone with co-workers, clients and customers also presents real-life etiquette questions answered by “America’s foremost authority on manners,” Letitia Baldrige. And you’ll learn tips on how to finesse awkward, embarrassing situations at work, courtesy of the great-grandson of Emily Post, etiquette expert Peter Post.