For Business Etiquette Week, I would like to share these 10 quick and easy business etiquette tips. Whether you are meeting with a client, collaborating on a project, or interacting within the workplace, your daily interactions can have a large impact—making proper business etiquette essential for success.
Listen intently—Lean into the conversation and make sure you are displaying active listening.
Reiterate what you hear—Recap and summarize what you are hearing.
Ask intelligent questions—Do your homework before a meeting and be prepared to ask intelligent questions. Follow up a conversation with a thoughtful questions that clearly indicates you understand what they are saying. Make sure you leave a meeting understanding the “why” and “what”.
Be in-tune with their perspective—Always think about things as if you were in the other person’s shoes. Make sure you are seeing their perspective and point of view.
Send a note—It is a lost art these days. If you are meeting someone for the first time, if someone opened a door or referral, or if you’re invited to their business, their home, breakfast, lunch or dinner; I strongly encourage you to take the time to send a hand-written note that thanks them for their time. If you are at a conference, write down from what you have heard something that has made a valuable impression on you, and then, send a note acknowledging the impact. Make sure your note is sincere—without any other intent or expectation.
Take notes and send a recap—Be prepared and take good notes. Do not write down just what they say. Think about the meaning behind their words and how that reflects what their goals are. Within 48 hours maximum, you should send a complete recap from your meeting.
Communicate—Silence is not good. You may know you are on-top of things, but if you do not communicate, no one else does. This applies for internal communication with co-workers, external communication with clients, and even communication in your personal life. Let others know what you are working on—give them updates and keep them informed. Trust me, this is an important part of etiquette that will allow you to be fully appreciated and valued in your business endeavors.
Be respectful of time—Everyone is busy. Make sure your meetings have a clear agenda, you are aware of your time, the project at hand is productively moving forward, and that you can recap the next steps. Most productive meetings can be done within an hour. If your meetings generally run longer, ask yourself why and what you can do differently the next time.
Greet each other appropriately—Although we are in a new era of COVID-19 and social distancing, the importance of a firm handshake will never change in my mind.
Make eye contact, be authentic, and smile—All relationships (professional or personal) start with trust. You can immediately tell when someone is not genuine. Treat those you meet with respect and acknowledge the teams working around you. Continually work on improving your EQ (emotional intelligence) not just your IQ.
Kara Demirjian Huss