Business Etiquette Rules Every Professional Needs to Know

It’s been said that good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. Not surprisingly, there’s a good bit of research to support the point, too.

Professional social situations can be awkward. And, unfortunately, many people wind up making fools of themselves because they don’t understand that etiquette rules in business differ slightly from those in standard social settings.

So we have compiled a list of great tips to help you along any professional or social situation you may find yourself in:

1. Always stand when you’re being introduced to someone.
Standing helps establish your presence. You make it easy for others to ignore you if you don’t stand.

2. Dress appropriately.
A recent survey by OfficeTeam found that 80 percent of executives say clothing affects an employee’s chances of earning a promotion. So rather dress for the position you want, than the position you have.

3. Never pull out someone’s chair for them.
Chivalry is a wonderful thing. However in a business setting, there should be gender neutrality. Everyone should be treated equally. Besides you wouldn’t want you’re act of chivalry toward a colleague of the opposite sex to be misread.

4. Keep your fingers together when you point.
You should never point your finger at someone, or something. The most professional way of gesturing is with an open palm.

5. Don’t order anything too expensive.
Should you find yourself having to go on a business luncheon, don’t order anything that is too expensive or tricky to eat. Stay for the simple options, that are usually in the middle of the price range. Especially if you have been invited out, and no indication on hospitality limits.

6. Don’t check your phone during meals and meetings.
Instead keep phones off or on vibrate and pay attention to and engage those around you. This rule should go for all dining situations, professionally and personally

7. Do be on time to meetings, conference calls, and appointments.
Nothing shows respect for the person you’re meeting then showing up on time. Also note, that showing up earlier than five minutes, is considered just as rude as showing up late. The last thing you would want is for your host to be still preparing when you arrive. Rather just sit in your car till the appropriate time.

8. Don’t sink to someone else’s standards.
Just because coworkers behave badly is not a reason for you to follow suit. Always keep your poise and do the right thing, even if you’re doing it alone. It matters and will be noticed.

That may seem like a lot, and to some it may seem like an uptight way to live. But just remember the basic success principle underlying all manners: Think about other people’s feelings first because it’s still not all about you.