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Business Etiquette

Good Manners never go out of style, be it a social gathering or a professional meeting, people following the right etiquette, at all times  gain an edge over their peers. Etiquette includes being comfortable in different situations and indicating your competence at all times by following the correct decorum and mannerisms.

It is a way of presenting yourself in official and social situations so that you are taken seriously. It is about building strong relationships in your field by fostering better communication.

The Basics:

Communication: First impressions are important as they form the basis of others’ opinions about us.  They begin with an impressive introduction to self, a smile and a confident glance exchange.  A welcome note followed by a firm handshake. Hence, good First impressions form the building blocks of your professional life. Repeating a person's name when you are introduced shows the other person you care, and saying your own name keeps him from having to ask.

In most professional circles, avoid using first names, replacing them with titles such as Mr. or Ms. unless instructed otherwise. Always present your visiting card with both hands and receive it with same amount of humility and care.

Professional Grooming: We live in an image conscious world.  How we present ourselves and what we wear are vitally important. Young professionals must be able to make the right impression through power dressing by understanding formal clothing, use of light make-up, wearing right accessories and subtle colors. Wearing well- washed and well –ironed clothes are a mandate in all scenarios.  

Meetings:  Meetings put you in front of coworkers and bosses who you may not work with on a regular basis. That means how you conduct yourself in them may leave a lasting impression. Being on time for work and meetings and after breaks is also a form of basic business etiquette. If you are late or will be absent, call with as much advance notice as possible and speak to someone in person. Always come prepared if you are actively involved in the meeting.

Cultural Sensitivity: In this globalized growing world, every day we encounter people from various cultures. Hence, it is mandatory to be culturally sensitive, understand and respect cultural differences and overcome cross cultural barriers. Avoid using jargons, slang and curse words, and always check difficult pronunciations of names.  Being ethnocentric or stereotypical in workplaces shows your narrow-mindedness and biased mindset which goes against you.

Netiquette: With the ever evolving  virtual world,  it has become imperative for the young professionals to have a skill-set for handling social media .With the right amount of practice and social media education, students and professionals gain an extra  edge in their careers and communication networks. Respond to all emails and voice mails within a specified time period even if you don't have time to answer in detail, leave a message saying ‘noted’ an answer right shortly . Always observe all rules of hierarchy, mark all detailed or sensitive emails, faxes and business letters by your superior before sending. Use professional language and avoid and controversial, racist or sexist comment on any of the social media platforms.