5 Ways To Upgrade Your Business Etiquette

Most people assume that the word “etiquette” has to do with thank-you notes and how to eat properly when with others. If you’re talking about the business environment, it has a lot more to do with everyday behaviors that speak volumes about who you are and your level of professionalism. Good etiquette at work means maintaining a high level of awareness, dignity, kindness, and compassion during the day. Here are a few areas to focus on.

1. Maintain Good Boundaries

You’ve got a great idea and want to tell a coworker about it — now. Should you burst into their office? No, not yet! Think about how it feels when you’ve got a lot of work to do and someone suddenly derails your thought process by walking in and delivering a long monologue. Take this idea and apply it to all of your interactions: Does your behavior respect the time and energy of your coworkers? Are you friendly yet discerning with the amount and type of personal information you share? All of these items fall under the category of boundaries. Keep them flexible yet healthy and strong.

2. Introduce Yourself

This may seem like an obvious thing, but it’s a challenge for a lot of people to remember names, and your coworkers will appreciate it if you introduce yourself by your first and last name. It’s a basic axiom of business etiquette.

3. Stow Personal Items During Meetings

Do you tend to stack personal items on the table during meetings? Resist the urge. It makes you look unfocused and disorganized. If you must have your smartphone out, do your best to keep it face down so you can give others your undivided attention.

4. Limit Your Questions 

Although meetings are a primary way that employees bring up questions and concerns, don’t be that person who monopolizes the meeting or asks questions as the meeting adjourns. Be respectful of everyone else’s time and verbal space. You can always follow up by email if needed.

5. Eat Away From Your Desk

If you share office space with others, be sure to find somewhere else to eat at lunch; food smells can be distracting. Find a break room, or go outside. Unless you’re gathering as a group, it’s the gracious thing to do.

Smart business etiquette has to do with bringing empathy and common sense to your interactions. Consider these suggestions for a smoother workday.

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