ETIQUETTE TIPS FOR PROFESSIONALS IN BUSINESS
Men and women are now considered equals in the business world and do not only work in support roles. That
means that the business etiquette rules that once applied only to men apply equally to women. Here are a few
reminders of what some of those rules are:
SHAKE HANDS WITH CONFIDENCE.
First impressions are everything, and if your handshake is not up to par, you risk losing credibility. Make sure
when you shake hands with someone that you place your hand fully in theirs, touching web to web. Avoid
cupping you hand or offering just your fingertips. Your grip should be firm, but not bone crushing, and your
handshake should be accompanied with good eye contact. In purely social situations, women may remain
seated when introduced, but in business introductions they must rise. Most importantly, remember that your
handshake should say, I'm competent, I'm confident and I'm credible.
MAKE PROPER INTRODUCTIONS.
If you are talking with someone at an event and a person approaches your group, be sure to introduce the
newcomer. Whose name you say first depends on who has the higher authority. If people are equals it doesn't
matter who is introduced to whom, except if you're introducing a client. Even if your client has less authority than
the other person, you would say the name of the client first. For example, "Bob Client, this is Mary CEO."
TAKE UP SPACE.
If you observe confident successful men you'll notice they make room for themselves. They spread their items
out on the table, they take the armrests, they make big gestures. Try doing the same.
WATCH YOUR POSTURE
A sluggish posture conveys a lack of confidence and self-esteem. Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back,
hold your head up and make good eye contact when speaking with someone.
AVOID GIRLISH GESTURES.
When we touch our jewelry, twirl or touch our hair, or fuss with our clothes it communicates a lack of maturity and
confidence. When seated, leave your hands on the table or on your lap.
WATCH THE HEAD TILT.
A head tilt means you're listening, but when a woman continually tilts her head she is perceived as unconfident,
overly solicitous or unsure. Hold your head up straight to communicate confidence and authority.
PICK UP THE CHECK IF YOU ARE THE HOST.
If you've invited a client to a meal, it's your responsibility to offer your guest a choice of a couple of restaurants,
to make the reservation and to confirm the meeting. It's also your responsibility to pay.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS.
When it comes to attire, women have many more choices than do men, but this can lead to problems. Make
sure that your clothes fit well without revealing bumps and bulges, and never wear flip-flops, stilettos or tennis
shoes for business. Low-cut tops are always a no-no as you well get attention but won't be taken seriously if you
show your "girls" in a business meeting. As a rule, dress one step up from your client. And if you're interviewing
unless it's for a very casual hi-tech firm, wear a suit with understated jewelry and make-up.
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Build professional networks, taking
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