You might do your job exceptionally well but if you lack good business etiquette then your career will likely get stalled with the crew hanging out at the water cooler.
Here’s ten things you can do to be poised and professional in business protocol and etiquette:
1. Arrive on time for meetings. If you really want to impress the boss, then come prepared with a notepad, reports in hand, a pen and your calendar!
2. Keep business cards clean and presentable by using a holder. The impact of a three color, embossed business card is lost if your card is soiled, torn or folded.
3. Leave a clear and concise message on your voice mail. Avoid cute, long or vague messages. Let folks know when they can expect a return call.
4. Provide information in email subject lines. Let folks know a bit about the content of your email by placing an appropriate notation in the subject line of your email message. Don’t flag items as urgent if they can wait a week or two.
5. Ask if you may place a caller on speakerphone. Most everyone wants to know who is listening to a phone call before they begin talking!
6. Keep perfumes and colognes low key. A light bit of scent to you could be overpowering to someone else.
7. If you are handed a business card, take some time to look at it. Make a comment about the person’s line of work or ask a question. Show interest.
8. Avoid “hot button” topics that are not work-related concerns. It’s unlikely you’ll persuade anyone of your political or religious beliefs and the workplace is simply the wrong place to attempt to do so.
9. Keep the fundraising to a minimum or don’t do it all. If you have kids, please don’t expect your co-workers to buy items on every school, Scout and sport fundraising campaign. You might consider leaving an order form on a bulletin board or in a break room if your supervisor approves.
And last of all but most importantly:
10. Unless you have a catering service, please be sure to refill the coffee pot!