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When we were kids, our parents taught us the basics of bon-ton. Don’t speak with a full mouth, use a fork and knife to eat, and don’t ever, by any means, chew loudly and leave a mess on the table. Unforgiving rules of bon-ton are something the majority of us have when thinking about etiquette rules. However, as we grow old, we realize there are specific rules we have to follow when it comes to communicating in different environments. This is how we become familiar with business etiquette rules, something that is supposed to tell a lot about business experience and what sets us apart professionally. This is why we decided to share with you five business etiquette rules you should know and use.
Always use the full name when introducing yourself.
Some people are pretty good at putting names on faces. However, the majority of us simply cannot rely on a good memory. To avoid putting someone in an uncomfortable situation of remembering your name, make sure you always re-introduce yourself with your full name. We should add that it wouldn’t hurt to add contexts to your name wouldn’t hurt too. This is the best way to start a conversation with someone you met just once, or a long time ago, without making them uncomfortable.
You invite – you pay.
Sometimes going on a business meeting can look like going on a date. But things shouldn’t be that way. One of the first business etiquette rules is to pay for the drinks/dinner if you’re the one who’s inviting. This should apply both for client meetings and coworker’s outings, no matter if you’re talking strictly business or you moved things “on another level.”
But if you’re the one invited, don’t pick the most expensive item on the menu.
A call for lunch shouldn’t be considered an “all you can eat” event. After all, food and drinks shouldn’t be in the first plan: business should. What we suggest is to follow the lead of the person who invited you. If they’re ordering pricy items off the menu, sure, you can go and order them too. But don’t do it in any other case.
This rule should go without saying. However, so many people failed on this one; we had to put it on our list. No matter if you’re on a team building, enjoying your happy Friday with your coworkers, or you just went for a quick drink after work, it’s highly unprofessional to get drunk with people you work with. Being drunk can cost us our good reputation, and it can embarrass us so much that nobody will ever dare to invite us out ever again. Keep your soberness to your coworkers and let your friends deal with your drunk self.
Don’t be so generous on “reply alls.”
Let’s face it, how many times you were in an email thread that wasn’t actually related to you? Some statistics say that it takes us up to 64 seconds to recover from an email. And when we see our to-do list, it becomes so much clearer why every minute matters. When you’re sending a group email, make sure you’re not spamming anybody and that everyone will appreciate the information you’re disclosing. After all, you don’t want to be remembered as a spammer, right?
Bonus tip: if you’re annoyed by the number of emails you get, make sure you read about the inbox zero strategy
There are one too many business etiquette rules to remember.
… but we tried to cover the most important ones. Like your parents taught you the rules of bon-ton once, make sure you learn the bon-ton of business etiquette. Follow the rules, and be remembered by what you can do, not by the basic mistakes of communication you made.
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.