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August 23, 2019

Avoid These Business Etiquette Faux Pas

Forming and maintaining good workplace relationships requires courtesy and business etiquette. An unintended slight can damage interactions and lead to conflict and lost business. Here are three business etiquette faux pas to avoid.

  • Faux Pas 1: Insulting someone in an e-mail        

While e-mail makes communication faster and easier, it opens the door to miscommunication and misinterpretation. Start off right with a salutation—a greeting
—even for e-mails going to colleagues. A simple “Hi, Susan,” or “What’s up, David?” sets the right tone. If an e-mail is going outside the company, it’s considered a business letter and must follow the rules of business letter etiquette. A salutation for a business letter using e-mail is, “Dear [person’s title and last name:]”. Example: “Dear Dr. and Mrs. Sloane:”. Note that there is a colon, not a comma, at the end of a formal business salutation.

  • Faux Pas 2: Grammar and punctuation mistakes

A single punctuation error can cost your company money by changing the meaning of a sentence. Every communication must be correct to avoid misinterpretation. Proofread it yourself, and if it is an important document, ask someone else to proofread it, too. “I didn’t mean to write that” is not an excuse you can use in court.

  • Faux Pas 3: Multi-tasking when talking to customers or colleagues

Unless you are in the middle of an emergency and must monitor your phone for messages, turn it off when in conversation with someone. Checking and responding to e-mail or text messages when you are with others is rude and insulting, especially if you are with customers.

Not only can these three actions cost you customers, they can damage your reputation as a professional. Make courtesy and business etiquette a habit!

 

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