‘It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’- Warren Buffett

In the first segment, I wrote about visual etiquette. Let me now share with you another key aspect of etiquette, the business etiquette.

Every day we meet people at work, at business meetings, at travel, at conferences etc. It is crucial to conduct ourselves in a proper way.  Let me walk you through some useful tips that can bring you in positive light.

Start Your Introduction with a Perfect Handshake

Regardless of the gender, always offer a firm handshake. There is no such thing as a feminine handshake. In business scenario, all are at an equal setting. When shaking a person’s hand, step forward slightly, make eye contact, and smile. The handshake should not last more than 2 to 3 seconds. Always stand and shake hands. Instead of leaning over the table, walk around the desk and then shake hands.

Introduce yourself by your full name, and mention what you do. If you are meeting your client, then it’s important to mention your full name, followed by your designation and then company.

Asking Others Their Name

First, introduce yourself. Never ask someone, ‘What is your good name?’ Because it seems as if person has a bad name too. Instead ask, ‘Can I get your name please’ or ‘I am sorry but I did not get your name’.

Always address people by their full name, unless the person has asked you to say their first name e.g., ‘Please meet Mr. Ram Kumar’ or ‘Please meet Ram Kumar’.

Sharing and Accepting Business Cards

Normally business cards are given by your right hand, to the right hand of the person receiving it. In some cultures like Japan, visiting card is given and received with both hands as a sign of respect. Both are well accepted norms.

Never offer soiled, damaged or twisted cards, it gives out a very bad impression. Avoid giving business cards at social settings like wedding, festive occasions etc.

After receiving a business card, do not put it in your bag/purse as soon as you receive, it shows disrespect.  You must have a quick glance at the business card and then keep it.