Job etiquette, professionalism, professionalism in the workplace. How to be elegant and confident at work.
Simple Tips for Professionalism
- Every company has a culture. If everyone calls your boss Mr Tan, you should call him Mr Tan in the office even though if he has asked you privately to address him as Charles during a game of golf.
- If you are not sure how to address a person, especially in an informal setting, ask politely, “How may I address you please?”
- A big common blunder is to refer to assistants as my girl (oh how many times have I heard this!)
- It is better to refer to as “my assistant”.
- “She works for me,” is okay too but I prefer to say, “Alicia works with me,” or “Alicia, who works with me…”
How NOT to be Annoying
Job Etiquette – Interacting with your work colleagues.
- Always use please and thank yous no matter what is your rank in the company. Do not use vulgarities.
- Make polite requests. Ensure that they do not sound like orders.
- Check your tone of voice. You don’t want to give the wrong idea.
- Do not barge into someone’s office without knocking. Knock before you enter and ask if he or she has a spare minute.
- Do not leave things on the desk on top of his or her things even if you have written a sticky note.
- If you are on the phone, do not attempt to speak to those who have entered into your office.
- Resolve conflict professionally with tact and courtesy.
Phone and Email on the Job Etiquette
If you have to make business phone calls or answer them, please see Business Telephone Etiquette.
Be sure to apply professional Cell Phone Manners.
Read about some common do-s and don’ts when it comes to Workplace Email Etiquette
Conducting Business Etiquette
- Emply basic courtesies: such as speaking softly and quietly in a public place, holding the door for the person behind you, being considerate in the lift etc.
- Both man and women should shake hands with each other, no matter who offers it first. Women may offer her hand for a handshake.
- Read up more about Proper Business Card Etiquette
- Whoever is hosting a business lunch pays for it. Whoever invites a client out to lunch pays for it, no matter what gender.
- Consideration for shared spaces, coffee pots etc. Leave the place neat and clean as you have found them, or even neater.
- Keep things professional. This includes your attire, posture and your language.
- Do not apply your social manners in a business situation. There is right place for everything.
- No matter what happens at home and in personal life, do not bring those dark clouds or excitement to the office. If something affects you deeply, speak to your boss and take the day off.
- Try not to eat at your desk. It may disturb others: its smell, noise or having food in your waste paper baskets may attract pests. Meals ought to be had in a dining area like a canteen, pantry etc.
- If you are required to handle clients from different countries and cultures, it is advisable to study International Business Etiquette and British Etiquette which is the standard for international etiquette.
- Increasingly companies have to deal with a big emerging market in China. These are helpful to know: Chinese Manners and Chinese Dining Etiquette
For example, no matter what great friends you and your boss are, there should be some professional formality and not too much familiarity.
This professional formality should also be reflected by the way you speak on the phone, in emails, presentations and project discussions.
This usually applies to the area of business entertaining. For more information, see Business Meal Etiquette