The Career Lady®: What should someone do when someone else is acting rudely?
Thomas: When someone is acting rudely, it’s partially because they are unaware their behavior is offensive or inappropriate for the given environment. If you feel confident enough, gently correct the person. This requires practice because a certain amount of finesse is needed. Remember, most of the time it is not what you say but rather how you say it.
The Career Lady®: What are some of your pet peeves when it comes to etiquette or specific mannerisms?
Thomas: I have a few pet peeves.
- Men and women cutting steaks like it is a kill they just made at the table during a civil dining moment.
- Men not holding doors open for women. Either for their dates or any woman in a social setting such as when you exit a restaurant or shopping mall. I am always amazed by the lack of consideration for women with strollers.
- Conducting conversations on a cell phone in a restroom.
- Senior management not holding themselves to the same high standards that they expect of their subordinates to adhere to.
The Career Lady®: What are your top 5 corporate business etiquette tips to remember?
Thomas: In no particular order of preference, I would say:
- Have a self-introduction ready for those moments when you need to introduce yourself.
- Practice doing a firm and steady handshake which is appropriate for men and women. Corporate business etiquette is gender neutral.
- Understand how important eye contact is to making a good first impression. Your eye contact indicates that you are listening and attentive.
- Make a lasting first impression by dressing appropriately whether it is for the first or last meeting.
- Conversational skills are important. Scan a newspaper for headlines to keep abreast of current events. This will help you to develop informed opinions. The only wrong opinion is not having one.
The Career Lady®: How important is corporate business etiquette in the development and maintenance of a business?
Thomas: It is extremely important. With regards to the development of your business, every entrepreneur should be mindful that first impressions are lasting impressions. Exhibiting some form of corporate etiquette when meeting, networking and/or socializing with colleagues will go a long way. And the same goes for maintaining your business or current clientele, customers, and colleagues.
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