Admittedly, we all slip up occasionally. After all, Etiquette is just a code of conduct that allows us to live and work together with relative ease, foster good relationships, and reduces the social frictions that impede our happiness and even our professional success but “Poor manners hurt your career because the little things matter”. Very often, reputations are built on the basis of a first impression that takes someone approximately 3 seconds to formulate,” says Alexandra Levit, a career expert. Truly, office etiquette can be tricky in these days of in-house exercising, informal digital communication and open-plan workspaces. Here are some work/etiquettes you should know.
- Stand: You should lean forward to indicate that you would stand, if you could, if you are caught off guard and cannot rise. Always stand when you’re being introduced to someone. Standing helps establish your presence so you make it easy for others to ignore you if you don’t stand.
- Handshake: in today’s workplace, handshake is the business greeting. You want to be taken seriously? Then you must shake hands, especially in a correct way. Regardless of gender, the lower-ranking person should extend his or her hand without missing more than a beat if the higher rank person fails to do so either way, handshake must be exchanged.
- Full Name: Meeting someone for the first time, you must say your full name. If you are the one doing the introduction, always introduce people the way they want they want to be introduced. If your name is too long or difficult to pronounce, then give your business card to others or company a short name.
- Don’t Cross Your Legs: Remember the health implication “crossing your legs is bad for your circulation because it increases the pressure on your veins”. In today’s workplace, especially in a business meeting, crossing your legs is distracting and even too sexy for a professional setting. Sit with your back straight.
- Dress Appropriately: You want to send a professional message through your clothing choices, clothing enhances a person’s professional reputation or detract from his or her credibility. Always find out what the dress code is at the event meeting you’re going to and ensure that your clothing is within the dress code. Save the see-through dresses, sandals with socks, Lycra bike shorts, muscle shirts, and plunging necklines for other occasions.
- Ubiquity of Smartphones: this is a major change in the 21st century work place, wearing an earpiece in a work environment puts a “Do not disturb” sign on you. It sends a message to colleagues that you want to be left alone, an unfriendly gesture at best. Also, take care to respect someone’s space while receiving a phone call, don’t be loud. Listening to your voice message via speakerphone is improper in a work environment.
- Be Polite: Interrupting when someone is speaking and texting during a meeting are all signs that you’re not giving someone your full time and attention, and that’s off-putting. It is casual rudeness. Also, remember “knock, knock” when entering someone’s cubicle or office space.
- Thank you: Within a conversation, only say thank you once or twice else, there will be a possibility that you will appear helpless or needy.
Conclusively, if you’re not using proper office/business etiquette, chances increase that you’re likely to pull a bone-headed move outside the office that also can hurt your career. Be wise!