When people think of etiquette, most imagine a special occasion where you’re on your best manners. Business etiquette isn’t about putting on airs. It’s about respect for others. Manners are how you present yourself to others. Your team will run smoother when you practice these business etiquette rules.

Making a Good First Impression

Show up on time. Be prepared for the meeting. Dress appropriately for the workplace. Be aware of your posture and body language. Present yourself as professional and others will see you in that vein.

Have Good Communication

Communication isn’t just about what you say, it’s about how you talk and how you listen. Give your colleagues respect when you communicate. Write clear. Keep emails short and direct, but not curt. Listen to others before responding. Watch your tone with others, too. You may not think you sound short but barking out orders can often come across badly.

Be Friendly But Professional

You don’t have to share every detail of your life in the office. Business etiquette is about being friendly and personal while maintaining professional boundaries. It’s even more important when you’re the boss. Respect other’s professional boundaries, too.

Know Your Work Culture

Understand the values and policies of your office. What’s appropriate in one office may not fly in another. Be careful to understand the professional culture of people who come from other countries. Research other customs to understand business etiquette in countries where you may be working.

Don’t Talk About Others

Treat your co-workers and customers with respect. Don’t gossip about them. Don’t speak badly about your colleagues, no matter how frustrated you are. You may feel as if no one is watching or no one cares. But that crazy customer might just be one of your colleagues’ in-laws. Be nice.

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