Business etiquette is changing as quickly as the business world is evolving. The old etiquette rules no longer apply. Are you making these etiquette mistakes? If so, it may cost you success in your career or business. Don’t worry. Here are the solutions to your business etiquette questions.
Business etiquette mistake #1: Poor dining etiquette
Poor table etiquette ranges from not knowing which place setting is yours, to talking with your mouth full, chomping into a roll or not passing the bread basket. There are many ways to make a “crumby” impression with table etiquette.
Solution: Brush up on your table manners, either by getting help from someone who knows, or buying a book or How-to Guide to help you. Don’t risk losing a client, contract or job because of faux pas at the table.
Business etiquette mistake #2: Not treating business cards with respect
In North America business cards are treated quite casually. But in other cultures, business cards are considered part of a business person’s persona, and writing on their cards is considered very bad etiquette.
Solution: Don’t write on anyone’s cards if you can help it. If you absolutely must write something important and have nowhere else to write it, ask them first if you can write on their card. Then write on the back, not the front of the card.
Business etiquette mistake #3: Sending sloppy email
Email is a quick form of communication. But when emails become difficult to understand due to poor spelling and grammar, and unclear writing, you lost credibility.
Solution: Take a few extra seconds to read your message before you send it. Emails are still a form of written communication that can be saved and passed around, and poor writing will reflect badly on you.
Business etiquette mistake #4: Lack of cell phone etiquette
Common faux pas of cell phone etiquette include taking a call when you are with a client or your boss, and talking too loudly in public about confidential matters.
Solution: Turn off your cell phone in meetings and focus your attention on the meeting or on your client. When taking a call in a public place, keep it brief and private as much as possible, and don’t shout into the phone.
Business etiquette mistake #5: Putting people in Voice Mail Jail
Not responding to voice mail within an appropriate amount of time, and not leaving a clear message that moves the conversation ahead.
Solution: Try to respond to voice mail within 24 hours. If you are away from the office, leave a message telling callers who to contact, or when you will get back to them. When you call someone, leave a clear message that moves the conversation to the next step.
You are invited to use these solutions to the biggest business etiquette mistakes, to help you have good etiquette in the business world.