Businesspeople often have occasion to network with customers, clients, and colleagues. How you handle these encounters can either build or break down professional relationships. The general guidelines on how to conduct yourself in a professional setting are known as business etiquette. Here are the main points to keep in mind.

Behavior at the Workplace

What comprises suitable behavior in company facilities varies from business to business. For instance, some companies are dog-friendly, while others forbid canines in the workplace. To find out what’s permissible in your office environment, ask if there are written guidelines. In the absence of these, follow the cues of your supervisors.

Courtesy in Meetings

Proper business etiquette for meetings includes sending notices beforehand so people have time to prepare, scheduling at convenient times of the day, and introducing attendees who may not know each other. Follow a clear agenda, and give everyone an opportunity to speak. If your meeting is virtual, link up when you’re in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and look directly into the camera.

Communication Techniques

Only communicate by phone, whether by voice or text, when you are alone. It’s disrespectful and discourteous to take your phone out and use it when others are around. Reply to emails promptly, and avoid the use of slang and smiley faces, which do not indicate professionalism. When you’re speaking with someone in person, maintain eye contact at least most of the time, speak in a steady tone, and evince interest in their remarks.

Professional Etiquette

General professional etiquette includes honesty and punctuality. Remain cool and calm even in intense situations, and be willing to accept constructive criticism when it is offered. Maintain flexibility in your schedule so you’ll be able to accommodate the needs of others.

Manners at Meals

Many businesspeople dine for professional reasons from time to time, so it’s important to be aware of business etiquette as it applies to meals. Generally, it’s the same as dining manners in any situation: chewing with your mouth closed, waiting until everyone is served to start eating, and passing items at the table from left to right.

For mare advice on business etiquette, look to Integrity Financial Capital.