8 Business Etiquette Rules Everyone Should Know

An important thing that people tend to forget is that being professional isn’t just about having the right skills and education; it’s also about having high standards of professional behavior.

We’ve compiled a list of eight business etiquette rules that will help you grow as an individual, advance in your career, and make a lasting impression all the while avoiding making a fool out of yourself!

1. Stand Up to Greet Someone

By standing up to greet someone, you actually establish your presence. Staying on your seat, on the other hand, makes it easier for others to ignore you. In case you were taken off guard and cannot stand up, just lean forwards to show that, if you could, you would.

2. If You Forget Someone’s Name, Let Them Know

It’s normal to forget a name occasionally. So, when this happens to you, don’t try to conceal it and instead say something like, "I’m sorry but I’ve forgotten your name". It is much better to be honest about it rather than deny it unless you want to look like a fool.

3. Don’t Use Your Phone

I know, everyone takes their phone everywhere they go today, but it’s different when you’re in a professional environment. So, when attending meetings, you should never even think about taking your phone out from your pocket.

Even if you want to send an important email or text, there’s no secretive way to do it; everyone will notice and they’ll feel unimportant.

Whenever you’re meeting someone, don’t place your phone on the table right away. Your move only suggests that you won’t be entirely focused on them and that you would rather connect with someone else instead.

4. Say "Thank You" Only Once or Twice

No matter the situation, you should only say “thank you” once or twice in a conversation or else you run the risk of involuntarily diluting its importance. Oh, and if that’s not enough, there’s also the risk of making yourself seem fairly needy and helpless – and you don’t want that, do you?

5. Greet Your Colleagues

Always say "good morning” and "hello" to the people you see at work, whether you know them or not. The person that you didn’t greet on the way to your meeting could be the one sitting next to you – things could then be very awkward for you. If you greet them beforehand, then you already have a basic connection to get things started during the meeting.

6. Don’t Interrupt Them

It’s very disrespectful to walk into someone’s office unannounced and interrupt their work. You need to at least knock or say hello if the door’s open and ask them if they have a couple of minutes to spare to talk. However, if it’s going to take more than just two or three minutes, then the best thing to do is to email or call them to schedule a time that would best work for them.

7. Don’t Get Drunk

businessman drinking

We’ve all heard of this rule before. You must never get drunk at any business-social events or activities. So many careers have been ruined because someone got drunk at a business event and did or said something inappropriate. Well, here’s a tip for your next business-social event: only order one drink that you don’t like and keep that for the whole evening. You can’t get drunk if you don’t drink, can you?

8. Keep an Open Palm

When you need to point at someone or something, you should always do so with an open palm and your fingers together. Women have a tendency to do it more often than men, but in both cases, pointing with your index finger suggests an aggressive attitude.

See Also: Office Etiquette (1950’s)

Can you think of any other important business etiquette rules that everyone needs to follow? Let us know in the comments section below!