One must realize that there is an obvious difference between social and business etiquette. For instance, in social etiquette, a man must always open the door for a woman. It’s a completely different story for business etiquette.
In business or office etiquette, whoever—man or woman—is the first to the door is the one who will open it for everyone. A woman should not wait for a male colleague to open the door for her. You are only exempted from the door duty if your arms are full. No one, however, can ever be exempted from opening the door for a client or customer.
The following suggestions are given as you observe proper business etiquette:
1.) For a breakfast/lunch/dinner meeting, the host pays for the food.
Remember that always the host pays for the food. So if you are the host, assuming you’re a woman, please do not wait for the male colleagues to pay for the food.
2.) Offer help to everyone.
Help everyone or anyone, regardless of gender, who is overburdened with something. For instance, if a colleague is having a hard time carrying a load of reports, offer to carry some of them. Or, take a colleague’s coat when he or she cannot manage to do so.
3.) Before a meeting, always stand to greet someone, and shake their hands after the meeting.
Conversational Styles & the Art of Listening
Men and women differ in ways of communicating. Some attitudes that have been adopted by many men may be irritating to most women, and the superfluous, detailed descriptions by women find it tiring for men. This difference might break out into a problem.
However, let not this be a problem. It can be prevented by applying some principles of the art of conversations: the right use of words, and the art of listening.
As part of observing proper office etiquette, the following points are suggested when having conversation:
- Do not interrupt when someone is speaking. Always wait for your turn.
- Maintain eye contact, and always face each other when talking or listening.
- Do not point your fingers.
- Choose the right words.
- Be always polite. Instead of saying ‘you need to pass the report on Tuesday,’ say ‘please pass the report on Tuesday.’ Do not be arrogant. Mediate your voice.
- DO NOT make jokes of any kind about someone’s sexual preference.
DO NOT stare at someone’s body parts.