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July 25, 2013

Etiquette Blunders to Avoid

Most of us tend to associate social etiquette when entertaining or at a party. However, sometimes it seems that common courtesies fly out the window the moment a person steps into the office. As Clarence Thomas, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, once said, “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”

Although people may not remember your credentials, they will always remember how they felt in your presence. To help you ensure that you make a strong, professional impression, here are the top etiquette blunders to avoid at work.

Electronic Clutter

Although everyone knows that it is common courtesy to keep their workspace clean, many people think little of cluttering up inboxes with unnecessary emails, jokes, and other trivial things. Although sharing the occasional inspirational story can help keep up morale, keep company emails aligned with your business goals.

Forgetting to Confirm

Receiving an invitation to an event, such as a luncheon, conference, or product launch, is always an honor. Yet, failing to RSVP or confirm the receipt of the invitation can give the impression that the kindness was not noted. Even if you are busy, try to respond within three days of receiving the invitation so that the host can make the proper preparations. This rule also applies to meetings and other functions where sending a simple email is enough to confirm your attendance.

Failing to Make Proper Introductions

Introducing a new employee around the office is generally standard practice. However, in many large companies, it is common for many employees to never meet. Before a meeting convenes, it is always a good idea to quickly scan the room for any individuals you may not have met or may not know well. Make a proper introduction that highlights the role you play in the company and ask about their role. This simple courtesy can help everyone feel at ease while paving the way for better collaboration and productivity. Even if you aren’t holding the meeting, treat everyone as if you were the host.

Bottom line: Make people feel special and good about themselves. Show everyone courtesy and respect. Treat others as you want to be treated.



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