Making a good impression in business is paramount to succeeding in business. When you are about to meet new people or do some business networking, how you present yourself will often equate to how good you are at what you do in the eyes of both colleagues and bosses. Just like you learned as a youngster, there are certain “golden rules” to follow both in everyday life and business life. Here are the top 10 rules of business etiquette that you will want to keep in mind.
1. First and foremost, having good manners is a must. Please and thank you never go out of style. Common courtesy towards others should be second nature.
2. Be on time, or better yet be a little bit early. Be certain that you have allotted enough time for the meeting so you won’t be concerned about another place that you have to be.
3. Dress appropriately. If you are uncertain of what to wear, it is always better to err on the conservative side. Business casual is generally the rule of thumb to follow.
4. Prepare yourself ahead of time for both things that you may want to contribute to the meeting, and any information that was given to you ahead of time to read or make notes on. Come prepared to participate in discussions and activities.
5. Upon entering the meeting, glance around the room and acknowledge other attendees. Familiarize yourself with colleagues and managers and make a note of the person who is chairing the meeting. Try to put names to faces if you’ve met previously and try to remember names of people who have been newly introduced to you.
6. Although it’s hard to live without text messages, cell calls and emails, you can do it for the duration of a meeting. It is good etiquette to present the attitude that this meeting is the most important thing on your agenda right now. Leave word ahead of time with the necessary contacts that you will be in a meeting and then switch everything off when you arrive.
7. Don’t interrupt the chair when the meeting is in progress. Take notes so you will be prepared to speak up when the time is right.
8. When you do speak out, be clear, concise, and stay on topic. Don’t be afraid to present your point of view, but always be respectful of the point of view of others.
9. Information exchanged in a meeting is generally considered confidential among those attending the meeting. Unless you are certain that the subject matter is common knowledge, it is best not to discuss issues with those that were not in attendance.
10. Bring your positive attitude. You’ll accomplish a lot more and gain a lot more respect than you will if you are negative and critical.