Enhancing Your Professional Etiquette

The success of your career or business is affected by your professionalism in the workplace and how you interact with others. Enhancing your professional etiquette can help you be more confident and polished. Here are some strategies for enhancing your professional etiquette.

1- Pay attention to how you dress
Many years ago, you’d hear people say, “dress for the position to aspire to hold”. However, with today’s relaxed casual work environments, it’s sometimes hard to figure out what is acceptable and what’s not. Check your companies dress code and be sure you are in compliance. Business casual typically does not mean tee shirts and jeans. In some companies, the dress code may allow for a more relaxed style. When in doubt, ask.

2- Use cubicle manners
Many work places have cubicles or an open concept work environment. Using cubicle manners such as avoid entering someone’s workspace unless invited, not interrupting when someone is on the phone, not entering conversations from the other side of the wall, and lowering the volume on music, screen savers and your cell phone will help maintain positive relationships with co-workers.

3- Watch your handshake
A handshake can speak a thousand words! Here’s what makes a perfect business handshake:
Shake with a firm grip, smile and make eye contact with the person who’s hand you are shaking. As a general rule, a handshake should be 2-3 seconds and is appropriate to do with a both a woman or man. It’s ok to be the first one to extend your hand.

4- Keep workspace décor simple
It’s best if workspace décor is a balance of your personal and professional image. Your work space can add or detract from your professionalism, so choose wisely. Keep in mind who’ll be seeing your office. If you’re workspace is in a high traffic area, you’ll need to be more discrete. Less is always better. A few items that will inspire and motivate you are better than hundreds of items that look like clutter.

5- Be a good listener
Listen to others at work without interrupting, both in person and on the phone. Give others the opportunity to state their opinions, without butting in or judging. When you respect other people by allowing them to finish what they have to say, you build stronger work relationships.