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Business Etiquette – Formal and Informal Greetings

Continuing with our focus on National Business Etiquette Week, let’s look more specifically at professional etiquette that enhances professional image.

When you meet someone for the first time, it is important to establish rapport by making an introduction.  Others may be shy or simply not friendly so you may be the person expected to make the first move.

  1. Make comfortable eye contact
  2. Extend your hand as you introduce yourself
  3. Give a firm handshake
    -No limp handshakes
    -Do not attempt to win an arm-wrestling contest
    -Pump your hand only 3-4 times
    -Any longer than this might be misconstrued as too personal
    -Always offer a handshake while standing
  4. In today’s society, RANK does NOT have privilege (unless you are royalty) Older rules of etiquette required that a lower-level citizen did not initiate a handshake.   In the not-too-distant past, one was required to wait for the higher-ranking person to make the first contact.  Bah humbug!  Many times we don’t know (or don’t care) who is the higher-ranking person. The polite and appropriate greeting is eye contact and a handshake.

5.  If business cards or telephone numbers are exchanged, it makes good business sense to follow up later by email or phone call to establish formal contact.  Remember to keep it professional and to the point.  Always thank the person for their time.

Remember, you only have once chance to make a good first impression

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Judy W Bell

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