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The Top Five Business Etiquette Mistakes

In the business world, how your present yourself can dictate your success or failure. Learning business etiquette can help you advance more quickly within a company, be named employee of the month, and even solidify a larger pay raise. In short, your career will benefit from your knowledge of business etiquette. So, here are the top five business etiquette mistakes. If you want to go far, avoid these things at all cost!

1. Business Etiquette Mistake #1: A Poor Introduction: A handshake is the first impression another person gets of you in the business world. Fumbling here might mean that you're judged to be an undesirable candidate for a job, partner for a business venture, or employer for a promotion. Remember, in the business world, every time you see a career acquaintance both inside and outside of the office, you'll be shaking hands, meaning that your whole business life will be filled with mini introductions. A firm handshake is first and foremost important. If you have a weak handshake, you may come off as a weak businessperson. In addition, stand up to shake someone's hand if you have been sitting and make eye contact. When you are meeting someone for the first time, it is also proper etiquette to repeat his or her name, which will help you remember the name for later as well. Forgetting someone's name is a sure way to make a bad impression!

2. Business Etiquette Mistake #2: Drinking Too Much: At business functions like dinners, holiday parties, and social hours, it is common for the company to pay for an open bar. Even if there is not an open bar, a cash bar or wine may be available. Whatever the case, avoid having more than one or two drinks. These events are meant to be a time for networking; if you want to get drunk, go out to the bar with your friends on the weekend. By drinking too much, you'll come off as unprofessional and you may be labeled as uncommitted to the company. It may also lead you to saying things that you shouldn't say, and it can even be dangerous if you choose to drive home afterwards. Avoiding the consumption of alcohol altogether is the best bet, but if the situation presents itself, exercise a little self control and minimize the number of drinks you have.

3. Business Etiquette Mistake #3: No Table Manners: People are often intimidated by business dinners at fancy restaurants, but if you keep just a few basic rules in mind, you'll eloquently survive any meal. Start with learning what silverware to use. In general, start from the outside and work in, saving the fork and spoon at the top of your plate for dessert. The ladies at your table should be served first, but even if they aren't, wait until everyone at the table has their food before you begin eating. Of course, keep you napkin on your lap, and thank a server who refills your glass.

4. Business Etiquette Mistake #4: Forgetting Your Manners During Emails: As communication technology changes, there are more and more business etiquette rules to keep in mind. One of the biggest mistakes the people make in regards to business etiquette is writing emails that are too casual or inappropriate. Today, email is the communication method of choice, whereas once paper memos were sent. When you're writing any email, use care to keep it professional and polite. In fact, you should think of an email as you would a typical letter. Always address it to the person receiving the email, use proper grammar and spelling, and close with your full name and contact information. In addition, avoid using your office email to send other in the office funny, cute, sentimental, personal or chain emails. If you want to send these kinds of emails, get a free Yahoo!, Google, or MSN email account and use that. Your company email should only be used for professional purposes, like sending memos or asking questions about work-related projects.

5. Business Etiquette Mistake #5: Being Too Casual With Superiors: Lastly, one of the worst - if not the worst - business mistakes you can make is treating your superiors as friends. While some bosses and employees become very close, this is not the rule, and you should always treat your relationship as one that is strictly for business. Do not call someone by his or her first name until prompted to do so, and do not assume that you can take liberties without asking permission, even if it was not a problem in the past. The key is professionalism. Recognize how you're like to be treated were you the boss, and show your superiors that same respect. And who knows? If you avoid this top five business etiquette mistakes, you might actually be that boss someday!

Submitted by:

Grant Eckert

Grant Eckert is a freelance writer who writes about business topics, similar to what consumers read in http://www.magazines.com/ncom/mag?mid=4359 Time Magazine




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