Valuable tips on: - Corporate etiquette - Meeting etiquette - Basic manners during lunch and dinner meetings - Elevator etiquette ## **KEY NOTE #1: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STEPS OF CORPORATE ETIQUETTE?** #### **1. Customer Etiquette** Dealing with customers is the most important. You can follow a few key steps here, but the one most important factor is patience, along with the following: - Never take comments and insults personally - Don’t interrupt your customer - Stay focussed on your product - Show empathy - Take responsibility for your mistakes - Use three golden words regularly: Sorry, Welcome, and Thank You #### **2. Phone Etiquette** - Never talk while eating, as the person on the other end of the line can hear your chewing sounds. - Never take the phone to the washroom either as your phone’s microphone can pick up the sounds there. - Avoid using the speakerphone as it kills privacy. When you speak to a customer, identify yourself, and tell them where you are calling from. Then ask them, “How may I help you?” If you see a missed call, return the call, but if the person on the other end does not pick up the phone, do not call repeatedly. Just leave a message. This is especially important when you are trying to get through to a customer, client, or your boss. #### **3. Email Etiquette** The most important elements in an email: - Write your subject line to identify the subject. Be short and specific. - Use polite language, even if you are upset, and have received a wrong or defective product. - Address the person by his or her name such as Hello Mr. Garg/Miss Bhatia etc. - Address someone senior, for example, your boss as Dear Sir/Madam. - Proofread errors such as grammar and spelling mistakes. Errors are not acceptable. - End your email properly with Thank You, Yours Faithfully, Regards, Best, etc. - Don’t confuse the reader. Use simple language. - Write 2 or 3 short paras around your issue. Don’t write long emails. - Read your email before hitting the Send button. #### **4. Business Dress** Wear formal clothes that are comfortable. You should never look unprofessional. #### **5. Cubical Etiquette** - Don’t enter without permission. - Don’t interrupt someone. - Don’t peek or peep - Don’t speak loudly - Use an earpiece to avoid speaking loudly on the phone #### **6. Interview Etiquette** - Reach on time, at least 15 minutes earlier, and avoid asking repeatedly, “How long will this take?” - Don’t hurry. Keep adequate time for your interview. - Update Resume. Know your resume well - Be Properly Dressed - Tidy Hair - Knock when entering - Greet everyone and say ‘Thank You’ when you leave ## **KEY NOTE #2: MEETING ETIQUETTE** Meetings are common in every office. In some offices, the day begins with a meeting and everyone observes how everyone talks and behaves, whether it is the boss, participants, or the person recording the minutes of the meeting. So, everyone has a role to play. But a meeting has rules. These are: #### **1. Be on time:** Don’t follow what is jokingly referred to as Indian Standard Time. No one likes latecomers, however senior you may be. If you are late because of unavoidable circumstances, enter the meeting room quietly and focus on the meeting after apologising for being late. #### **2. Be well-groomed:** Be tidy at all times. Follow the dress code for the meeting, whether formal or casual. It can be casual for a family meeting, for example. This generates a positive impression. #### **3. No mobile phones:** Switch off your mobile for the duration of the meeting, or keep it on silent. Don’t chat or check social media messages. #### **4. Be prepared:** Be well-versed with the agenda of the meeting. Do all your paperwork in advance so that you are prepared for all questions. #### **5. Avoid interrupting the speaker:** If you don’t agree with something the speaker is saying, wait till he or she finishes speaking. Then speak what you have to say, politely. A meeting is a discussion, so don’t make it into an argument. #### **6. Keep it to the point.** Don’t deviate from what is being discussed. Meetings are time-bound, so don’t raise things that are not on the agenda. ## **KEY NOTE #3: BASIC MANNERS DURING LUNCH AND DINNER MEETINGS** Remember the scene from the movie, _Satte Pe Satta,_ where the seven siblings all attack the food on the dinner table? That may have been fun, but we don’t want to repeat that in real life, do we? ## **KEY NOTE #4: TABLE MANNERS** There are a set of rules that together make up table manners. These are not hard and fast rules, but merely pointers to help you. The first among them is: #### **1. Avoid phubbing:** If everyone on the table is busy on their phones, this is called phubbing. Keep your phone on silent and avoid phubbing. #### **2. Sitting down:** Wait for the host to sit down along with the ladies. Then sit down, spreading your napkin on your knee. Then start a conversation with others. #### **3. Body language:** Sit straight and it is okay to keep your elbows on the table till the food arrives and you begin eating. #### **4. Follow the B-D formula:** Know that your bread is on the left and your drink on the right, so don’t pick up someone else’s glass or chapati as you eat and are engrossed in conversation. You can make ‘b’ and ‘d’ with your fingers as shown in the video to remember this concept. Likewise, you can ask others to pass dishes that are kept far from you. It is not good manners to extend your arms to pick them up. #### **5. Maintain hygiene:** Wash your hands before and after a meal. These are things you may have learned as a child, so remember those early lessons. #### **6. No talking while eating:** It is bad manners to chew your food and talk at the same time. #### **7. Host First:** Wait for the host to signal to you that you should start eating. Remember to always appreciate your food. The host has taken a lot of effort to prepare the food, so compliment the food accordingly. Recalling the ancient Indian saying, _“Attithi Devo Bhaave.”_ See your guest as a form of God and lavish your best on him or her. As a guest, the host may pile food on your plate. Say ‘no’ graciously if it is food that does not agree with you such as veg or non-veg, but do make it a point to taste the special dishes that the host has especially cooked for you. #### **8. Fork vs. Hand Culture:** See which region you are in and eat accordingly. But if you are dining in a five-star hotel or anywhere outside in a restaurant, then it is safer to adopt western customs such as eating with a fork or knife. #### **9. Excuse Yourself From the Table:** If you need to use the washroom or take an urgent phone call, a simple “Excuse Me” is enough, rather than explaining what you have to do. With that, you can get up and go to the washroom. #### **10. End:** When you have finished, place your knife and fork in the five positions to indicate to the waiters that you have finished and that they can pick up your plate. ## **KEY NOTE #5: ELEVATOR/LIFT ETIQUETTE** You might think this is not really relevant, but even using the lift is a place where you interact with people and must be mindful of others. It shouldn’t be that you walk out of your professional space such as your office, then forget all your manners immediately. **For example:** Let others who are waiting for the lift before you get in, even if it means waiting for the next lift. Help old people to get into lifts. Remember, Ladies First and Elders First. Hold the lift door open by pressing the right button so that everyone can enter comfortably. Press only the button for the floor you are going to. Keep your distance from others and don’t push as you stand or try to move out of the lift. Say, “Excuse me”, and make your way outside. If you are blocking someone’s exit route, step out, allow the person to walk out, and then re-enter the lift. _Good manners are a golden opportunity to leave a good impression on others._