When it comes to business etiquette, there are basically four types:
- Workplace etiquette
- Professional etiquette
- Communication etiquette
- Meeting etiquette
Continue reading to learn exactly what each type of etiquette includes and what is expected!
These rules deal with your behavior at the office. Culture and expectations differ from company to company, so what’s rude at one workplace may be normal at another.
Figure out what’s acceptable and what’s not by paying attention to how the executives behave (and following suit), and sticking by the standard rules.
Being professional means contributing to a pleasant, productive, and inclusive work environment. Professionalism includes an entire range of behaviors; however, here are the most standard:
- Keeping your word
- Being punctual
- Remaining calm
- Being flexible
- Using diplomacy
- Accepting constructive criticism
A large majority of our relationships hinge on good communication.
- Don’t speak too loudly or too softly.
- Never interact with your phone while you’re with someone else. Keep it stashed in your pocket or bag at all times.
- If you’re on a conference call and you’re not speaking, mute yourself so the others aren’t distracted by the outside noise.
- Aim to answer internal emails within one day and external emails within three days.
- Avoid overusing exclamation marks and smiley faces.
- Default to “Reply” over “Reply All.”
- Check with each party before you make an introduction.
- Steer clear of complimenting someone’s appearance, since this can make people feel uncomfortable.
- Maintain eye contact 60% to 70% of the time.
- Match their speaking volume.
- Show interest in what they’re saying.
Meetings are an important aspect of business communication that allow teams to share ideas, discuss strategy, and get on the same page about projects and priorities. Below are some strategies for maintaining proper meeting etiquette, whether you’re meeting in-person or virtually:
- Send a meeting agenda around when you invite people to attend so they can prepare for the discussion in advance.
- Be mindful of time zones and the daily schedules of the people you’re inviting when setting a time so nobody has to attend a meeting too early or too late in the day.
- Set up lunch or ask people to bring lunch if your meeting is scheduled during a typical lunch hour.
- Introduce new team members or first-time meeting attendees to the larger group.
In-Person Meetings Etiquette
- Give attendees up to five minutes to settle in before diving into the agenda.
- Follow or set a clear agenda so people have time to think about contributions and ideas before presenting.
- Call on everyone who wants to participate in the discussion, or go around in a circle so everyone can speak.
- Don’t speak too loudly so as not to disturb people working around you.
Virtual Meetings Etiquette
- Look at the camera — not your own face or theirs — so you seem like you’re making eye contact.
- Shut the door and make sure you’re not interrupted by your pets, children, roommates, significant other, etc.
- Before your meeting, check the area in camera range for inappropriate or overly personal items.
- If you’re the meeting facilitator, make sure all participants have the chance to speak or present ideas, even if they’re tuning in remotely.
This may seem like quite a lot of rules, but all are imperative to follow in the business world. Do you have any other business etiquette practices in mind? Drop them in the comments below!