I would like to politely remind everyone that this is National Etiquette Week. I know, I know! I didn’t realize it was this week either but for the past 13 years the second week in May has been officially proclaimed National Etiquette Week. We are encouraged to refresh our memories when it comes to the rules of etiquette and protocol. For a quick update on a few points of business etiquette that would make Emily Post proud, consider these:
Introductions. Introduce yourself and those around you to each other. Extend a hand for a firm handshake and look them in the eye while expressing a genuine greeting.
Appearance. It is always best to dress to impress but don’t overdo it. A conservative approach is often best if the proper attire for an event is unknown. Always, always bath and wear clean clothes in good repair. As mom might say, “Comb your hair, wash your face and brush your teeth”.
Meetings. Be on time and come prepared. Turn your cell phone off. Know the meeting agenda and be ready to contribute. Make eye contact and warmly greet everyone in the room. Stay positive.
Communication. Return phone calls or emails as soon as possible even if only to acknowledge the call for a future follow-up. When placing a call, state your name before asking to speak to someone. When leaving a voice mail message, leave your return phone number even if you know they already have it. Keep the message brief. If on speakerphone or a 3-way call, make sure the person at the other end is aware.
General. Please and thank you never goes out of style. Don’t chew gum or wear overpowering perfume or aftershave. Keep conversation mainstream by discussing the weather, current sporting events or movies. Never ever bring up politics, religion or gossip.
Please practice these simple but valuable rules of business etiquette and you and your business are sure to reap benefits. Thank you!