Business Salutation Etiquette

With today’s business environment becoming increasingly global, most of us come across situations where we have to meet clients from different countries and cultures. Studying and understanding your client’s culture, in-depth, may take a lot of time, but there are some generally agreed principles that are a part of the correct business salutation etiquette. It is very important for all of us to display good business etiquette as it plays an important part in ensuring success and professionalism in the workplace.

Salutations When Meeting

The acceptable way of greeting a client or someone from your workplace is a handshake, irrespective of the gender of the person. It is important that you make eye-contact with the person and have a genuine smile. It is important to remember that a handshake is not an alternate for using your voice. While you extend your hand, you should introduce yourself at the same time. Avoid being too firm with your handshakes and remember that handshakes are a way to start a communication, not a show of physical strength. There are times, when you will not get it right, but you should not start feeling remorseful and instead, you should try to make up for it by offering a compliment or engaging the person in a short conversation.

Cross-Cultural Salutations

The art of salutations would have been much easier if our interaction in a business environment was limited to people from our own country and culture only. Today, more and more companies want to be global and the mergers and acquisitions mean that you get to meet people from almost all parts of the world. Winning over your clients requires knowledge of their traditions so that you are able to impress them in first meeting itself. In this section, we will take a brief look at the business salutation etiquette in different cultures.

The accepted way of greeting in China is a slight bow as Chinese tend to avoid physical contact with the other person. A lot of Chinese people are comfortable with a handshake but remember that the handshake is not as firm as the one in western countries.

The business salutation in India is similar to that of the west with most business people shaking hands and introducing themselves. It is common for businesswomen to shake hands, however a kiss on the cheek is uncommon. Indians are sensitive and have strong family ties, so you may be involved in some conversations on family life, marriage, children, etc., which normally are considered as personal issues in the west.

Saudi Arabia
Arabs greet each other by saying Assalaamu ‘alaykum which translates to, “peace be upon you”, however, Saudi Arabs don’t expect people of other cultures (non-Muslims) to greet them in this fashion. Like other countries, a formal handshake is the acceptable way of greeting each other. Businessmen can shake their hands with businesswomen, but the man has to extend the hand first.

The business salutation in Russia is similar to other western countries, but the handshake is much more firm, almost a bone-crusher. When shaking hands with a woman, the handshake is less firm. You can introduce yourself using only your surnames, but you should find out if your Russian counterpart uses any titles.

Although most of the Germans introduce themselves with a handshake, however, who shakes whose hand can sometimes get a bit perplexing. The norm is that a person who is at a higher position will take the initiative to extend his hand and introduce you to all the sub-ordinates. If you have joined a group of people, then the onus is on you to extend your hand and introduce yourself to each one of them. It is considered good to shake hands with older members first as it shows a sense of respect.

Business letters are formal in nature and there are some set standards that have to be followed while communicating with business associates. One of the commonly used salutations is ‘Dear’, which is followed by the name to whom the letter or e-mail is addressed to. In situations where you don’t know the name of the person and the gender, you can address the letter/e-mail as

– To Whom it May Concern
– Dear Sir/Madam

It is important that you close the letter in a professional manner. Some of the common salutations to end a letter are

– Kind Regards
– With Appreciation
– Sincerely
– Regards

It is important to have a sound knowledge of these business salutation etiquette as these plays an important part in ensuring whether you are successful in your endeavor. We hope that this article is helpful to you and helps you with some information on salutations in the business environment.

Meeting Etiquette

Etiquette is nothing but a set of unwritten rules that are accepted by everyone, for the smooth functioning of a society. Proper etiquette is expected in all social activities and interactions. Of course, it is different for every occasion.

Following Etiquette at a Meeting

Here are the prime principles to bear in mind.

Punctuality: It might sound like a cliché, but punctuality is one quality which needs to be followed throughout life. It is a crucial factor when it comes to formal meetings. In fact, it’s best to be present at the venue, at least five minutes beforehand.

If you reach late due to some reason, occupy your position, without disturbing the proceedings. If you are organizing the meeting, start on time, irrespective of the attendance. Do not make members wait, even if the others are late.

Dressing and Mannerism: Formal attire is expected. Dress like a professional. T-shirts and jeans are out of question, when it comes to a meeting. There won’t be any dress code mentioned, however, you are expected to dress in clean and neat clothes. Also, pay attention to your footwear. Choose comfortable formal shoes.

Talking about manners, it is expected that you switch your phones to a silent mode. Avoid answering calls during the meeting.

Listening attentively is also an important part of etiquette. If at any point you do not agree with the chair, wait for him to finish and then put forth your opinion in a modest tone. Every person in the meeting gets a chance to express his views. Wait for your chance. Avoid aggression, and reason instead.

Be Prepared: All meetings generally have an agenda. You will be informed in advance about the meeting timing. Do not waste your and others people’s time beating around the bush. Speak only about the concerned topic, in short and simple sentences.

Be precise and wrap your presentation within a certain time. Be prepared for questions that might be asked about the topic. If you cannot answer a certain query, honestly accept it, instead of providing vague answers. Also carry a pen and notepad with you.

Summarize: When the meeting ends, summarize it by giving a short account of all that happened, which includes plans that were put forward, accomplishments, any suggestions etc. Also decide the time and place for the next meeting. Do not rush out. Thank everyone for coming, if you are the organizer.

These were the most important meeting etiquette rules. Following them will not only help in improving productivity, but will also improve relationships within the team.

Workplace Etiquette

True. Good manners and a good conduct can make you go places you may have never imagined. It’s your entry to winning the people around you. The best B-school or a aristocratic lineage does not grant a person manners or any etiquette. Etiquette is cultivated by each one of us through years of observation coupled with instinct for good taste in life. Workplace etiquette too, is an unwritten code of conduct which decides the way you behave in a professional environment. Let’s see what are the important pointers to keep in mind.

Dress Code
The dress code is the most important part of every etiquette. Just as you get appropriately dressed for a party, a wedding ceremony, and any other occasion, an office, demands the same too. A professional environment demands a proper attire that is respectable and presentable. Formals is what you need to dress in at a workplace. Clean ironed clothes, coiffed hair, and polished shoes are the minimal requirements of a workplace dress code. As for women, make sure your hands and feet are well manicured and pedicured. Dressing up as though you are heading to a night party, just to make a fashion statement at the office would be the gravest blunder.

Keep it Low
Being at office is different than hanging out with friends at a cafeteria. You need to monitor your volume while you are at office. Speaking loudly, getting into loud squabbles, or leaving your cell phone on a ringing mode while you are at office will get you all the attention you want. However, such inconsiderate behavior is severely disturbing to the others around you. So, keep it low while you are in office premises.

Desk Etiquette
Workplace etiquette rules make a strong suggestions of desk etiquette. Mindless post-its stuck around your computer screen, papers, and files scattered all over your table, over flowing paper bin, disposable coffee glasses stacked up as souvenirs of yesterday make up an extremely hopeless sight. Firstly, the space in office is not yours. You don’t own, so you can not it mess it up. Keep it clean, it will bring out some organization and efficiency.

Avoid Relationships
A workplace only harbors business. This is the reason why your boss is not going to be very happy about you getting pally with your colleagues. So, don’t get very optimistic about love relationship at workplace, since they have fat chance of jeopardizing your professional career. It is difficult to avoid getting friendly with office colleagues since you spend maximum time of the day with them. A suggestion here is, keep it down while in office premises.

Social No-Networking
Limit you social activities in the virtual world, while you are at office. Hours of online chat with friends and sending mails through corporate mail-id, can get you into trouble in the long run. Every employer keeps a close watch on his employees and monitors his/her action. There is no point in contesting this since it will lead to your loss at the end. So, just be careful of what you are browsing through while you are at office.

Eating Habits
Be considerate of others while you are eating at your desk. If you are a non-vegetarian, avoid bringing aromatic food items such as fish and mutton at the desk. Finish it off in the dining area or eat it while your co-worker is away from the desk. If the food item is oily, make sure your wash your hands before you touch anything else at the desk as oil tainted documents make a terrible impression.

An integral part of this etiquette is to keep your emotions and your intentions clear from each other. Following these aforementioned guidelines will not guarantee a successful career, but it will surely help you earn an insurmountable goodwill with the colleagues and the bosses. And definitely, that’s all you need to make a rock-steady career!

Proper Business Etiquette

Etiquette is just not confined to the use of the right fork at the dinner table. It involves everything that has to do with saying the right things, dressing the right way to doing the right thing, etc. In other words, it implies being at your best behavior. Business etiquette is just about following the same at your workplace. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, it has nothing to do with being upright and stuffy; in fact, it’s all about being smart and well-cultured. Showing everyone that you have a polished and sophisticated side to you would help you stand out from the rest.

What is Business Etiquette?

This has everything to do with good manners and appropriate habits. So, what kind of behavior can be constituted as good for workplace? For this, let’s take a look at some things, which you might be doing unconsciously at your workplace.

Proper Dressing Sense
Everyone seems to like commenting on others’ dressing sense, but how a person dresses up in the office has real significance in the corporate world. A sleek and smart look would make a favorable impression, rather than a tardy and messy appearance. What to wear and what not to wear at office is an important question as this whole arena has become ambiguous due to constantly changing fads. Sticking to formal wear is the only way one can exhibit neatness and professionalism. Women should avoid wearing too loud colored clothes, or even sleeveless blouses and short skirts. For men, formal shirts with full sleeves and an uncreased attire will do the trick.

Phone Etiquette
Many times, a phone call seals the fate of a business deal, and it is important that you excel at the art of pleasant conversation. If you are not required to say any specific company’s intro, then make sure that you give out your name or designation while answering any such call. The key is to fetch all the information from the client carefully. Profanity or aggressive tone during a telephonic conversation can cause a big dent to your company’s image, so it is but obvious that you should refrain from such behavior. Pay attention to what the person on the other end of the phone is saying. Do not interrupt him/her because such an act has always been considered rude, even if it reeks of being chivalric.

If you are transferring any call, kindly inform the person that you are doing so as this is the rudest thing people complain of when they call any customer service. Never, in any instance, slam down your phone; remember that you wouldn’t like this to happen with you. Another important thing is that, if you have told someone that you will give him/her a call, then you should keep your word and courteously call that person even if there is no further progress in the matter concerned. These are just some of phone etiquette; be it business or home, it should reflect in voice and conversation on phone.

Email Etiquette
Business communication is just what everyone wants to master and perfect. Though emailing can be done even by a kid, exhibiting proper etiquette via an email can be just a tad difficult. The first commandment for the same is never to make spelling and grammatical mistakes. Include all the details in the email so that you do not have to reply to queries again and again. Make sure that the tone is proper and is serving the intended purpose. To find out that the tone is appropriate, you can read the email aloud. Business letters and emails are supposed to be formal and devoid of any errors. But, unlike these letters, emails have a scope of being light and crisp, and can express pleasant disposition of yours. Write correct names and addresses because the client or customer wouldn’t appreciate anything less than that. If you are sending an attached file of considerable size, then ensure that your email would actually reach the desired destination without bouncing.

Thus, business etiquette is essential for climbing up the ladder of success in the corporate world. These are not just about getting your grammar right while speaking in a conference or writing an email; instead, it’s about you being courteous to whomever you interact with.

Office Party Etiquette

For guys, a party means booze, dance and food, and for girls, a party means makeup, dressing up, and gossip. Basically, a party means no rules and all fun, but office parties are little bit different in that regard. You can have fun at office parties, but it has certain boundaries too, and those boundaries are known as office party etiquette. This article will help you to act properly at your office parties.

To Go or Not to Go
Please do not even consider not going to the party unless you have a very genuine reason for it. If you don’t go to the party, you might severely hamper your image. An office party is an opportunity for developing new friendships at the workplace, and every such opportunity should be grabbed with both hands.

The Attire
Generally, office parties are immediately after work hours, so you will have little time to get all dressed up. You have to look relaxed and professional, yet neat and pulled together. Business casual attire is best suited for such a situation. For men, it is expected that they wear a shirt and cotton pants. It is recommended that you wear anything that can accommodate a tie. For women, it is expected that they wear informal dresses with an appropriate skirt length. Basically, wear business casual attire to your office parties. But if your office party has a theme, then choose an attire that is in accordance with the office party theme idea.

The Date
Normally, it is expected that you do come alone to an office party. Read the office party invitation wordings carefully. If it is specifically mentioned that you can bring a date, only then think of bringing the date. Else, treat this as a formal occasion and proceed accordingly.

The Conversation
While having any conversation at an office party, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. Keep the bad talking habits in check. Listen as well as speak. Do not give the impression that you are always chattering away or just keeping it to yourself. You can lessen the degree of formality when you are well into a conversation, but never be completely informal as well. Always stick to safe topics of conversation, especially when you are speaking with a colleague for the first time. Do not get involved in debates as it might ruin the ambiance of the party. An office party can be an opportunity to have a healthy and meaningful conversation with your colleagues, so do not waste it.

The Mingling
Try to mingle with as many people as possible. Get to know other people in your office. Share your experience with other people and try to grasp their point of view as well. If you are not a mingling sort of person, then try to befriend a guy who is sitting in a corner and not talking to anyone. Chances are that he will have the same point of view as you.

The Food
Die-hard foodies like you and me can have a strong urge to hog on whatever there is on the buffet table. But this is not such a good etiquette. Always keep moderation in mind, as far as food and drink are concerned. Even while having alcohol, remember that you have to keep your wits about. Office parties are a chance to build relationships with your colleagues and superiors alike; so acting brashly under the influence of alcohol can have a serious impact on you career.

The Hugs and Kisses
An office party can be an excellent place to tell a co-worker that you like him/her. But I must tell you one thing, sexual harassment laws do apply to office parties as well. You can be a little bit cheesy, but do avoid all the naughty stuff. This is for your own good.

The Opportunities
Generally, it is the boss who throws an office party. Take this opportunity to go and build a camaraderie with him. Thank him for the party and compliment him for the delicious food. Caution to the wind must be thrown over here. Do not try too hard to make an impression or you will end up making a negative impression. Try to meet those superiors whom you haven’t had a chance to talk to, but take care that you don’t monopolies the time with your boss. Let others also have some conversation time with him.

When You Leave
Leaving early will only make it too apparent that you are bored at the party. Stay for an appropriate amount of time. When you do decide to leave, thank your host for the delicious food, amazing environment, and how great the office party games for adults were. Try to be as graceful as possible when you are leaving the party.

Office parties are a great way to relax with your workplace buddies and bond with your superiors as well. But these parties do require some etiquette, and they have to be followed to make a good impression. I hope that the above article has helped you in understanding office party etiquette better.

How to Write a Job Transfer Request

A job transfer request can be a request for relocation or one requesting a transfer to a new position that has opened in your company. Personal reasons such as time and location constraints could necessitate you to write one. A job transfer request has to be addressed to your employer making it clear why you want the transfer and it should convince your employer about your suitability at the new position. You should be careful in your request for job transfer so that it is granted. Ensure that it does not look like a helplessly made request. Also, it should also not appear to be an arrogant statement of your need for transfer.

Writing a Job Transfer Request
If your job transfer request is your response to a new job opening in your company, state the purpose of your request. Let a convincing reason for requesting follow the purpose. Highlight your strengths to convince your employer how well the newly opened position suits you. Make a mention of your experience and your expertise, which you will be able to utilize in the intended new position.

It may happen that your family is shifting and that you need to relocate to a new place. If you know that your company has a branch in the new place you will be moving to, you may like to request a transfer to that branch of your company. In this case, it is important to state clearly your reason to relocate. It is important to make your employer understand your urge of working with the company. State that you want to continue working in your current company and that it would be nice for you to obtain a job transfer to your place of relocation.

In any of these two cases or for any other personal reason that may lead you in requesting for a job transfer, remember to be clear and precise. Do not forget to add a few words of appreciation about the company. Do not appear to be flattering your company but make sure to mention what the company has done for you. Mention in your request how the company has helped you in your career. State your true reason for requesting a job transfer. It is always good to maintain transparency in your interaction with any of your employers.

Granting your job transfer request means that the company has to choose a new employee in your position. The company has to search for a suitable candidate and train him/her before the newly selected person can perform well at the position that was once served by you. The company may have to look out for new candidates or promote one of the candidates in the company. Your transfer can mean a lot of effort on the part of your employer. Your company needs to arrange for a suitable substitution for you. So give them that time. Make the request well in advance and wait for the stipulated period of time. There is an official notice period that gives both the parties a fair share of time to make the necessary changes. Abide by the company policies. You can provide a solution for your replacement in the company by referring a candidate or offering to train the new candidate that the employer chooses.

Your job transfer means a lot to you. It may mean an adjustment for your family or a change towards betterment. It is best to convince your company about how you will continue to benefit them. A well-drafted job transfer request can make a small contribution towards a successful career.